After having been named the Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year in September, Lionel Messi completed his double Monday night by being awarded the Ballon d'Or as well. After Real Madrid's Luka Modric had ended the decade-long reign of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over football's most prestigious individual prize last year, things went back to normal with Messi's win on Monday.
Following four consecutive wins between 2009 and 2012 and another one in 2015, Messi took home his sixth Ballon d'Or this year, elevating him above Cristiano Ronaldo, his only near equal in terms of career achievements - certainly in the current generation of players and arguably in the history of soccer.
Netting 36 league goals in the 2018/19 season, Messi was key to Barcelona's title-winning campaign in La Liga and also helped his team to another Champions League semi-final, where he scored twice in the first leg before crashing out in spectacular fashion in the return leg at Anfield Road. Barcelona's failure to win the Champions League last season is also what drew some criticism to Messi's Ballon d'Or triumph this year, as many had expected Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk to win.