Messi breaks record with his sixth Ballon d'Or win

The inimitable Lionel Messi
The inimitable Lionel Messi has further bolstered the claim that he is the best footballer in history by claiming a sixth Ballon d'Or crown.
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The Barcelona star moved ahead of great rival Cristiano Ronaldo to take outright ownership of the record, seeing off Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk and Juventus' Ronaldo.

The Argentinian struck 54 goals for club and country in the 2018-19 season.

The 32-year-old held off the challenge of Holland centre-back Van Dijk, whose performances helped Liverpool to the Champions League title.

Van Dijk, the winner of UEFA's Men's Player of the Year, could have been the first defender to lift the Ballon d'Or since Italy's Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, but he was left to settle for second place as Messi added another honour to the Best FIFA Men's award he received in September.

And he fired a warning to his rivals that he only intends to keep on breaking records, and has no plans to start easing off now that he is in his early 30s.

"I'm going to enjoy this with my family," he said. "Because those times when it's possible to do it do not last long.

"Tomorrow we will have to focus again on other objectives.

"I am already focused on the future. This gives me great pride, it gives me a lot of strength to continue my work."

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