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Added January 18th, 2016 by Ian

Does Lionel Messi’s fifth Ballon d’Or award make him best soccer player ever?

There will always be arguments and debates across the planet when it comes to the topic of the world’s best-ever footballer. However, it appears that Argentine international striker Lionel Messi has the ammunition to sway the argument his way. Messi just won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for 2015 ahead of Portuguese international forward Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Brazilian international Neymar, who is Messi’s Barcelona teammate. This is Messi’s record fifth Ballon d’Or award, which is presented to the best player on the globe.

The 28-year-old came in second place to Ronaldo in the 2013 and 2014 voting, but won this year’s ballot by a pretty comfortable margin. He helped his Spanish club side capture five different trophies last season including the Spanish La Liga, Copa Del Rey, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup and European Champions League crowns. Messi also had an excellent year personally as he banged home 52 goals in 2015 and added 26 assists in his combined 61 appearances for Barcelona and Argentina. Messi was flattered with his fifth award and thanked his teammates, the fans and everybody who was kind enough to vote for him.

The voting for the award is done by the managers and captains of the world’s national teams as well as certain representatives of the media. Messi also took home the Ballon d’Or previously in four straight years from 2009 to 2012. He garnered 41.3 per cent of this year’s total votes, which is the third most in history. Ronaldo placed second with 27.8 per cent of the votes while Neymar placed third at seven per cent. Ronaldo ended up with more goals than Messi last year as he totaled 57 between Real Madrid and Portugal, but neither of his teams managed to win any silverware.

Reports said that Messi voted for teammates Neymar, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta while Ronaldo chose to go with fellow Real Madrid players Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez as his top three choices. It was the fifth consecutive year that Messi and Ronaldo have finished as the top-two vote getters and the seventh time in the past eight seasons. The only time Messi or Ronaldo didn’t win the award in that span was back in 2010 when Andres Iniesta managed to finish the voting as runner up. The last player to win the trophy before Messi and Ronaldo was Brazilian international Kaka.

The FIFA women’s player of the year award went to American international Carli Lloyd as she helped her side beat reigning champions Japan for the Women’s World Cup title in 2015. Meanwhile Luis Enrique of Barcelona was named the men’s manager of the year and Jill Ellis of the United States Women’s National team was the female manager of the year. Messi leads the way with his five Ballon d’or award while Ronaldo is one of five players who has won it three times. The others are Marco Van Basten and Johan Cruyff of Holland along with France’s Michel Platini.

 
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