Paris: Football star Lionel Messi and US national team captain Megan Rapinoe took home the Ballon d’Or at an awards ceremony in Paris on Monday.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi won the men’s Ballon d’Or for a record sixth time after scoring 54 goals for club and country in 2018-19, helping Barcelona win the La Liga championship.
Messi, 32, received his first Ballon D’Or in 2009, and over the past decade has gone on to become the most celebrated player in football and perhaps the greatest to play the game.
Similarly, Megan Rapinoe concluded her sweep of major soccer awards Monday when she was named the winner of the women’s Ballon d’Or.
Rapinoe, 34, led the U.S. to its second consecutive Women’s World Cup title last summer in France, claiming the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player and the Golden Boot as the leading scorer. Then in September, she won the FIFA world-player-of-the-year prize.
The Ballon d’Or, considered soccer’s top individual award, has been presented by France Football every year since 1956, with England’s Stanley Matthews the first winner. A women’s category was added last year when the award went to Norway’s Ada Hegerberg.