Ballon d’Or 2019 Awards: Lionel Messi Pips Virgil Van Dijk by Just 7 Votes to Win Sixth Golden Ball, Check Full Results
Lionel Messi With His Six Ballon d'Or Trophies (Photo Credits: Twitter/@Ballondor)

Lionel Messi won a record sixth Ballon d’Or trophy in a glittering ceremony at Paris in France on December 3, 2019 (Tuesday) beating rivals Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to the award organised by France Football Magazine. The Golden Ball award, Messi’s sixth, took him past Cristiano Ronaldo with whom the Argentina and Barcelona captain shared 10 of the last 11 Ballon d’Or trophies. Both had won five Golden Ball trophies each before Messi’s victory at Théâtre du Châtelet not only took him past Ronald but also made the Barcelona forward the first-ever footballer to win six Ballon d’Or titles. Ronaldo finished third in the race behind Liverpool and Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk, who came second to Messi by just seven votes. Messi’s Ballon d’Or win by 7 votes was stiffest and most closely contested battle since 1996. Lionel Messi Wins Sixth Ballon d'Or in Paris, Megan Rapinoe Takes Women's Prize.

Votes released hours after the 2019 Ballon d’Or ceremony showed that Liverpool defender Van Dijk had finished only seven votes behind eventual winner Messi. While Van Dijk earned 679 votes for the Best Men’s Player of the Year, Messi raced to the gong with 686 votes making this the closest competition and the slimmest Ballon d’Or victory by any player since 1996. This was also the first time Messi had clinched the Ballon d’Or by this least number of votes. Ronaldo at third received 476 votes. Lionel Messi Wins Ballon d’Or 2019; David Beckham, Ronaldo, Gary Lineker & Others Congratulate the Barcelona Star.

  1. Lionel Messi – 686
  2. Virgil van Dijk – 679
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo – 476
  4. Sadio Mane – 347
  5. Mohamed Salah – 178
  6. Kylian Mbappe – 89
  7. Alisson – 67
  8. Robert Lewandowski – 44
  9. Bernardo Silva – 41
  10. Riyad Mahrez – 33
  11. Frenkie de Jong – 31
  12. Raheem Sterling – 30
  13. Eden Hazard – 25
  14. Kevin de Bruyne – 14
  15. Matthijs de Ligt – 13
  16. Sergio Aguero – 12
  17. Roberto Firmino – 11
  18. Antoine Griezmann – 9
  19. Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8
  20. Dusan Tadic – 5
  21. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 5
  22. Son Heung-min – 4
  23. Hugo Lloris – 3
  24. Kalidou Koulibaly – 2
  25. Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 2
  26. Karim Benzema – 1
  27. Georginio Wijnaldum – 1
  28. Donny van de Beek – 0
  29. Joao Felix – 0
  30. Marquinhos – 0

As many as 176 international journalists from around the globe in addition to the coaches and captains of every FIFA ranked international teams voted for the Ballon d’Or awards. According to the final vote standings, Van Dijk dominated Asia and Europe, while Messi was the first-choice of many from Africa, North America, South America and Oceania. Sadio Mane was the second-best voted player in Africa.

Despite the defeat, Va Dijk, however, pipped Messi as the first-choice of most voters from the 176 nations. The Liverpool was voted as the first-choice 69 votes, while Messi was picked 61 times as the best player. But the Argentine’s presence in most votes allowed him to edge Van Dijk to the trophy. Sadio Mane finished fourth with 347 votes, while his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah earned 178 votes. Kylian Mbappe (89), Alisson (67), Robert Lewandowski (44), Bernardo Silva (41) and Riyad Mahrez (33) completed the top 10.