Paris, France | AFP | Lionel Messi won a record sixth men’s Ballon d’Or award at a ceremony in Paris on Monday, beating Liverpool duo Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane to take the honours.
Now aged 32, it is Messi’s first Ballon d’Or since 2015 and his sixth overall as he moves one ahead of his old rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi succeeds Luka Modric, the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder who won the prize last year.
Earlier, Dutch starlet Matthijs de Ligt won the Kopa Trophy for the best player aged under 21 at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony in Paris on Monday, while Liverpool star Alisson won the inaugural Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper.
Defender De Ligt, 20, starred in the Ajax side who reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and won the Dutch title, before joining Juventus in the close season in a deal worth 85.5 million euros ($94.7 million).
The award is named after Raymond Kopa, the Real Madrid and France star of the post-war era who won the Ballon d’Or in 1958.
France forward Kylian Mbappe was the inaugural winner of the prize last year.
Alisson is the first winner of the new Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper, named after former USSR icon Lev Yashin.