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Ballon d'Or 2019: Messi Wins Sixth, Rapinoe Wins First Award

Lionel Messi and Megan Rapinoe took home arguably the top honor in the game on Monday night in Paris. Messi won a world record sixth men’s Ballon d’Or on Monday night in Paris after one of his best seasons in years, while Rapinoe secured the award for the first time in the second year of its existence.  


Both won FIFA’s The Best award for top men’s and women’s players in the game, presented in September 2019.
Last season, in LaLiga Messi scored 36 times in 34 matches (most across Europe’s top leagues), bagging 51 goals in 50 appearances in all competitions and was the top scorer in the Champions League. 
 

Megan Rapinoe took home the award for top female footballer after her tremendous World Cup performance this summer where she led the United States to their fourth title. Her four goals during that tournament was also enough to give her the Golden Ball for best player. 

Rounding out the top three for the Ballon d’Or Feminin were Lucy Bronze (England, Olympique Lyonnais) and Alex Morgan (United States, Orlando Pride).

In fact, seven of the top 20 women’s players competed at the 2019 Women’s International Champions Cup this summer.

Women’s Top 20:

1. Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC and USA)

2. Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyonnais and England)

3. Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride and USA)

4. Ada Hegerberg (Olympique Lyonnais and Norway)

5. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal and Netherlands)

6. Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais and France)

7. Sam Kerr (Chelsea, fmr. Chicago Red Stars and Australia)

8. Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit and USA)

9. Ellen White (Manchester City and England)

10. Dzsenifer Marozsan (Olympique Lyonnais and Germany)

11. Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyonnais and France)

12. Sari van Veenendaal (Atletico Madrid and Netherlands)

13. Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns and USA)

14. Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg and Denmark)

15. Lieke Martens (Barcelona and Netherlands)

16. Kosovare Asllani (Tacon and Sweden)

17. Nilla Fischer (Linkopings and Sweden)

18. Marta (Orlando Pride and Brazil)

19. Sofia Jakobsson (Tacon and Sweden)

20. Sarah Bouhaddi (Olympique Lyonnais and France)

Messi’s league goal-scoring tally was the best since the 2016/17 season and his Champions League tally was the highest since 2011/12. He led FC Barcelona to another LaLiga title and to the Champions League semifinals, only to come up short in an epic comeback led by Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, who placed second in this year’s Ballon d’Or race.

Even van Dijk, Messi’s closest challenger, had to pay homage to the Barcelona man. “I had a great season, but sometimes you come up against players like him (Messi), who are a bit unnatural. Six Ballon d’Ors, you gotta respect greatness.” 

The Liverpool center back had an amazing year himself, winning the Champions League with Liverpool and is widely regarded as the best center back in the world right now. a

He is now one of only ten center backs who have finished in the top three of the award and is the highest-ranked defender since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, when he won the award after leading Italy to a World Cup title.

Five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo finished third in the voting, marking the first time since 2010 that he wasn’t included in the top two. Rounding out the rest of the top 10, in order, were Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Mo Salah (Liverpool), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Alisson (Liverpool), Robert Lewandowski (FC Bayern), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) and Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City).

Out of the entire Men’s top 30 players, 28 have played at the International Champions Cup in 2018 or 2019, La Liga | Serie A or Brazil vs. Peru presented by Relevent Sports Group.

Men’s Top 30:

1. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona and Argentina)

2. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool and Netherlands)

3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal)

4. Sadio Mané (Liverpool and Senegal)

5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)

6. Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain and France)

7. Alisson (Liverpool and Brazil)

8. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland)

9. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City and Portugal)

10. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City and Algeria)

11. Frenkie de Jong (FC Barcelona and Netherlands)

12. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City and England)

13. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid and Belgium)

14. Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)

15. Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus and Netherlands)

16. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City and Argentina)

17. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool and Brazil)

18. Antoine Griezmann (FC Barcelona and France)

19. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool and England)

20 (tie). Dusan Tadic (Ajax and Serbia)

20 (tie). Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal and Gabon)

22. Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur and South Korea)

23. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur and France)

24 (tie). Kalidou Koulibaly (SSC Napoli and Senegal)

24 (tie).  Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona and Germany)

28 (tie). Donny van de Beek (Ajax and Netherlands)

28 (tie.) João Félix (Atlético de Madrid and Portugal)

28 (tie). Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil)

 
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