Lionel Messi wins Ballon d’Or over Cristiano Ronaldo & Neymar



Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player for the fifth time.

The 28-year-old Argentine had 41.33% of the vote, with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo (27.76%) second and Barca’s Neymar (7.86%) third.

Either Messi or Ronaldo, who became a three-time winner last year, have won the past eight awards.

United States midfielder Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final, won the women’s award.

England coach Mark Sampson was beaten to the women’s football coach of the year award by USA boss Jill Ellis, who was born in Portsmouth.Fullscreen capture 1022015 80032 AM.bmp

Messi’s 2015 in numbers

  • 61 games, 52 goals and 26 assists.
  • A goal every 101 minutes and an assist every 202 minutes.
  • Best minutes-per-goal rate – 80 – of anyone scoring a minimum of 10 goals across Europe’s top five leagues during 2015.
  • Directly involved in 49 goals in La Liga – 34 scored and 15 assists – which was the joint-most with Ronaldo in 2015 across the top five European leagues.
  • Scored in all six club tournaments in 2015, as Barcelona won five of them.CYdhQYXUkAAxMYG
Past Ballon d’Or winners
2014: Cristiano Ronaldo 2008: Cristiano Ronaldo
2013: Cristiano Ronaldo 2007: Kaka
2012: Lionel Messi 2006: Fabio Cannavaro
2011: Lionel Messi 2005: Ronaldinho
2010: Lionel Messi 2004: Andriy Shevchenko
2009: Lionel Messi 2003: Pavel Nedved

Ballon d’Or – world player of the year

Neymar (left), Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) and Lional Messi

Neymar (left), Ronaldo (centre) and Messi all play in Spain’s La Liga

Lionel Messi extended his record haul of world player of the year awards with his fifth after winning the treble – La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League – with Barcelona in 2014-15.

Portugal captain Ronaldo, 30, scored 57 goals in as many games in 2015 – including a record 16 in the Champions League – but that was not enough to win him Ballon d’Or number four.

Barcelona striker Neymar, 23, was the first Brazilian to finish in the top three since Kaka won the 2007 award.

He scored 45 goals in 62 games and is joint top scorer in this season’s La Liga with 15, level with team-mate Luis Suarez.

“It’s a very special moment for me to be back here on this stage, winning again another Ballon d’Or after seeing Cristiano win it,” Messi said.

“It’s incredible that it’s my fifth, much more than anything I would have dreamed of as a kid.”

Women’s world player of the year

Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd was emotional when accepting the award

USA’s World Cup-winning midfielder Carli Lloyd, 33, won the women’s world player of the year award.

She scored a hat-trick in the final against Japan, including a sensational strike from the halfway line, and earned the Golden Ball for best player in the tournament.

Former Germany striker Celia Sasic finished second despite retiring halfway through 2015 at the age of 27.

She was top scorer in the World Cup with six goals and won the Champions League with Frankfurt.

Japan midfielder Aya Miyama, 30, captained her country to the World Cup final, where they lost to the USA. She was third.

None of the shortlisted trio had won the award before.

Lloyd said: “It has been a dream ever since I started with the national team. Keep your dreams and just go after them.”

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