The Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has won his first FIFA Men’s Best Player award for 2019 at the ceremony held in Milan, Italy. In the end, he received more votes than Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi finished second in voting twice before. Both times were behind Ronaldo, in 2016 and 2017, while he wasn’t even in the top three last year.
Messi had a tremendous year with Barcelona, winning the La Liga title for the 10th time in his career. He also won the La Liga Best Player award for the previous season, European Golden Shoe, and the Pichichi Trophy.
The 32-year-old Messi scored 36 goals in 34 matches played in the Spanish league, while he also found the back of the net 12 times in his 10 Champions League appearances.
The Argentine forward can now put another prize in his abundant trophy case, and this one will go right next to the five Ballon d’Or awards that he won in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015.
In this year’s voting, Messi had 46 points and managed to stay above Virgil van Dijk (38), and his long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo (36). This is also the fourth straight time a player from the Spanish club has won the main prize after Ronaldo and Luka Modrić from Real Madrid were winners in the previous years.
Other awards were given to Liverpool’s Alisson Becker for the Best Men’s Goalkeeper, while his coach Jurgen Klopp was named Best Manager. The Puskas Award went to Daniel Zsori of Debrecen.