Lionel Messi was on Monday announced as the winner of the 2019 Ballon d’Or with Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk emerging as the first runner up for the prestigious football award.
The award the Argentine bagged is not unconnected to his incredible 2019 stats and records.
The Barcelona maestro in September 2019, at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, was awarded the FIFA prize for best player of 2018/19, ahead of Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo. The award was based on votes by national team captains and coaches as well as media members and a popular vote.
It was his first ‘The Best’ prize under its present format, although he had previously won the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or (when FIFA and France Football gave the award together), and the 2009 FIFA World Player award.
Messi led Barça to the LaLiga title
Messi’s 2018/19 LaLiga title was his 34th career trophy, and he is the player in with the most silverware in Barça history. His tenth league title, he is just two away from Paco Gento’s record of 12. Messi also helped Barça to the Copa del Rey final and Champions League semifinals.
Messi won his sixth Pichichi award
He won the Pichichi three times in as many years, and six times in total, Leo Messi has headed the top goal scorer chart in LaLiga. In 2018/19 he scored 36 goals in 34 games in the Spanish top flight. Along with Telmo Zarra, he is the joint record holder for Pichichi awards.
Won his sixth Golden Shoe
Messi’s 36 goals in LaLiga also made him the top marksman in Europe’s biggest leagues, giving him the Golden Shoe award with 72 points. It was the third time in as many seasons, and his sixth in total.
Was the top scorer in the 2018/19 Champions League
In European competition, he was also the man to find the net most frequently in the Champions League. Messi scored 12 times in just 10 games, with his free kick against Liverpool chosen as the best goal of the tournament.
Became LaLiga’s top assist provider in 2018/19
Besides being the top goal scorer in the Spanish top flight, Messi was also the top assist provider -along with Pablo Sarabia- with 13.
Goal scoring record
In 2019 Messi scored 41 goals in 44 games, and he is just one behind Lewandowski (45), besides setting up 15 assists. He has 3 hat tricks and 7 braces.
The player to score against the most teams in the Champions League
On the day of his 700th game for FC Barcelona, Messi scored against his 34th different club in the top European club competition, overtaking Raúl González and Cristiano Ronaldo’s tallies.
Scored his 50th free kick
Messi scored free kick number 50 against Valladolid in October, and now has 52 strikes from set pieces: 46 with Barça and 6 for Argentina.
Broken the 600-goal mark for Barça
With 614 goals to his name, Leo Messi is the top goal scorer in FC Barcelona history.
Become an all-time leader in LaLiga hat-tricks
With his three goals against Celta last month, Messi equaled Cristiano Ronaldo’s 34 LaLiga hat tricks.
Moved past 700 appearances for Barça
The FC Barcelona player with the second most games played for the club in history, Messi is behind only Xavi Hernández now (767).
Won a bronze medal at the Copa América
Although Argentina would not win the Copa América, Messi would pick up a bronze medal. His country lost their semifinal against Brazil, but beat Chile in the third-place playoff.
Became the man with the most wins in LaLiga
He overtook Iker Casillas (334 wins) as the player with the most match victories in LaLiga. He currently has 346 in the competition.
Became the player with the most wins in club history
In all competitions, Leo Messi has 496 match wins. This year he overtook Xavi Hernández as the Barça player to win the most matches in all competitions.
Kept up the lofty standards set for himself over the last 10 years.
Messi’s amazing consistency is something that is difficult for anyone to replicate. It is ten years since his first Ballon d’Or, and he has been well deserving of his sixth in 2019.