BARCELONA superstar Lionel Messi has been named the recipient of the 2015 Ballon d’Or, beating teammate Neymar and nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo to the coveted award.
The Argentine ace scored an impressive 48 goals with 23 assists in 53 games for Barca in the last calendar year, six of them in finals as the Catalans lifted the League, Spanish Cup, Uefa Champions League, Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup in a trophy-laden 2015.
Added to that, the 28-year-old scored four and provided three in eight appearances for his country, captaining them to a runners-up spot in the Copa America.
Messi’s 2015 award takes his tally to five Ballon d’Or trophies, adding to prestigious accolades he won in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Messi received a mammoth 41,33% of the votes, followed by runner-up Ronaldo with 27,76% and Brazil forward Neymar with 7,86% of the total tally.
In some of the evening’s other awards, Messi’s club coach Luis Enrique was awarded the Fifa Coach of the Year, Brazil’s Wendell Lira won the 2015 Puskas Award for his acrobatic finish, while the USA’s Carli Lloyd was handed the 2015 Women’s World player of the Year.
Fifa FIFPro XI: Neuer; Silva, Marcelo, Ramos, Alves; Iniesta, Modric, Pogba; Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo
2015 Women’s Coach of the Year: Jill Ellis (coach of USA)
2015 Men’s Coach of the Year: Luis Enrique (coach of Barcelona)
2015 Fifa Fair Play award: Dedicated to clubs and associations helping refugees
2015 Puskas Award (Goal of the Year): Wendell Lira (Brazil)
2015 Women’s World Player of the Year: Carli Lloyd (USA)
2015 Ballon d’Or winner: Lionel Messi (Argentina) kickoff.com
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