Lionel Messi Beat Virgil van Dijk to 2019 Ballon d'Or By Just 7 Points
Lionel Messi pipped Virgil van Dijk by just 7 points to claim his sixth Ballon d'Or award.
Lionel Messi won his sixth Ballon d'Or award (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Lionel Messi won his sixth Ballon d'Or award in Paris on Monday. Messi added the 2019 award to his collection alongside the Ballon d'Or awards from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015.
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was second in the polling this year, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who shared the record of five Ballon d'Ors with Messi until Monday.
On Tuesday, the final standings were released and it was revealed that this year's award was one of the closest ever. Messi won with 686 points and Van Dijk in second, got 679 points. So the Barcelona and Argentina star clinched the Ballon d'Or by just seven points.
A total of 176 international journalists voted for the 2019 Ballon d'Or, with journalists from Europe and Asia voting for van Dijk, while journalists from Africa, Oceania as well as North and South America voted for Messi, at least according to a report in the Evening Standard.
If van Dijk had won, the dutch would have succeeded Fabio Cannavaro as the first defender to have won the Ballon d'Or since 2006.
In fact, Messi's total of 686 was less than last year's winner Luka Modric, who had won it with 753 points.
2019 Ballon d'Or Points:
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 686
2. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) - 679
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) - 476
4. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - 347
5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) - 178
6. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) - 89
7. Alisson (Liverpool) - 67
8. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - 44
9. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) - 41
10. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) - 33
United States captain Megan Rapinoe won her first Ballon d'Or, while Juventus defender Matthijs De Light won the Kopa Trophy for the best under-21 player, and the inaugural Yashin Trophy given to the year's best men's goalkeeper went to Liverpool's Alisson.
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