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Ballon d'Or 2019: Barcelona superstar Messi wins for record sixth time

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An apparently leaked document placed Messi first in the vote for the best player in the world, ahead of Van Dijk second and his Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah in third.

It's time for its largest person award in the realm of soccer as each fan expects to find out who will be declared as another Ballon D'Or.

A year ago it was just the opposite as it was Messi who ended up excluded from the top three.

Van Dijk clinched the 2019 Champions League crown with the Reds after defeating Messi's Barcelona in the semifinals 4-3 on aggregate, included a 4-0 win at Anfield in the return match.

The Ballon d'Or was merged with FIFA's greatest player award for five years between 2010 and 2015, however, was working on it's own because 2016.

For Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, the answer is simple.

Nobody in football history has won the accolade more than Messi, and Van Dijk admitted the "greatness" of the Barcelona superstar must be respected.

He becomes only the third serving Liverpool player to finish first or second in the Ballon d'Or - after Kenny Dalglish (second in 1983) and Michael Owen (winner in 2001).

Speaking in front of a star-studded crowd inside the iconic Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, Van Dijk admitted he never believed he would be in the running for such a huge solo prize.

"But if you give it to the best player of last season, then it was Virgil van Dijk". Hopefully we can do it again this year.

Messi, who replaced last year's victor Luka Modric, can look back at a brilliant individual calendar year after claiming his six European Golden Shoe for his 36 goals in LaLiga last season.

Gerrard said: "If you talk about consistency from one player over a year, who wins the European Cup and is absolutely faultless in every performance, that means you deserve to win the Ballon d'Or". "There are no losers on that evening".

"It is just something to be proud of because not a lot of players go there and are up for these kind of things".

As Messi revels in what many see as confirmation of his GOAT status, we look back at how he achieved his remarkable Ballon d'Or haul.

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