Lionel Messi wins Ballon D'or 2015
Lionel Messi named world's best male player by the sport's governing body
Barca superstar striker Lionel Messi returned to action at the Nou Camp for the first time since winning the 2015. Messi showed his fans his stunning trophy ahead of Barca's 6-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao. Argentine Messi won out over teammate Neymar and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo to earn the world player of the year award for the fifth time.
Messi was an overwhelming favorite with voters who cast their ballot for the Ballon d'Or award including men's national team captains and head coaches, as well as international media chosen by France Football magazine. In return, Barcelona fans showed their appreciation for the Argentina star by unfurling a giant banner reading 'Congratulations Leo.'
Blaugrana No. 10 accepted the Ballon d'Or award for the first time in three years at a gala ceremony at the Kongresshaus on Monday in Zurich. Messi scored 52 goals and 26 assists in 61 games for Barcelona and Argentina respectively in 2015.
"It is a very special moment for me to be back here on this stage, winning again another Ballon d'Or after being there in the audience watching Cristiano win," twenty-eight-year-old Messi said with a warm smile. "It's incredible this is my fifth. It's much more than anything I've dreamed of as a kid. I want to thank everyone who voted for me and I want to thank my teammates.
"And lastly, I want to thank football in general for everything it has brought me - both the bad and the good because it has made me learn and grow." Messi finished behind arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo in both 2013 and 2014. Ronaldo and Messi have finished 1-2 in voting for 5 straight years – and 7 times in the last 8 years. Andres Iniesta finished second in 2010. Former winner Kaka awarded Messi with the trophy.
Barcelona players have now won the coveted trophy for a record 11 times (five to Messi, two to Johan Cruyff in 1973 and 1974, one to Ronaldinho in 2005, one to Rivaldo in 1999, one to Hristo Stoichkov in 1994, and one to Luis Suarez in 1960.
Last season Barcelona won 5 trophies, including the Champions League and La Liga titles. Messi and Neymar helped Barcelona win La Liga, the Copa del Rey and Champions League in 2015, plus the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
Messi who previously won the Ballon d'Or in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, received 41.33 percent of votes (third highest in history), while Ronaldo came in second with 27.76 percent, and Neymar earned 7.86 percent.
Ronaldo scored more goals than Messi in 2014-15, netting 54, however Real did not win any silverware last season. Reportedly Messi voted for his Barca teammates Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta, while CR7 Ronaldo cast his vote for Real teammates Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale.
FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique won first place as he was named men's Manager of the Year, winning the award ahead of Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola and Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli.
FIFA BALLON d’OR WINNERS SINCE 1956
1956 Stanley Matthews
1957 Alfredo Di Stefano
1958 Raymond Kopa
1959 Alfredo Di Stefano
1960 Luis Suarez
1961 Omar Sivori
1962 Josef Masopust
1963 Lev Yashin
1964 Denis Law
1966 Bobby Charlton
1967 Florian Albert
1968 George Best
1969 Gianni Rivera
1970 Gerd Muller
1971 Johan Cruyff
1972 Franz Beckenbauer
1973 Johan Cruyff
1974 Johan Cruyff
1975 Oleg Blokhin
1976 Franz Beckenbauer
1977 Allan Simonsen
1978 Kevin Keegan
1979 Kevin Keegan
1980 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
1981 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
1982 Paolo Rossi
1983 Michel Platini
1984 Michel Platini
1985 Michel Platini
1986 Igor Belanov
1987 Ruud Gullit
1988 Marco van Basten
1989 Marco van Basten
1990 Lothar Matthaus
1991 Jean-Pierre Papin
1992 Marco van Basten
1993 Roberto Baggio
1994 Hristo Stoichkov
1995 George Weah
1996 Matthias Sammer
1998 Zinedine Zidane
2000 Luis Figo
2001 Michael Owen
2003 Pavel Nedved
2004 Andriy Shevchenko
2006 Fabio Cannavaro
2008 Cristiano Ronaldo
2009 Lionel Messi
2010 Lionel Messi
2011 Lionel Messi
2012 Lionel Messi
2013 Cristiano Ronaldo
2014 Cristiano Ronaldo
2015 Lionel Messi
Messi named to FIFA 16's Ultimate Team of the Year. Messi was also named to the FIFPro World XI along with Ronaldo and Neymar. A has revealed FIFA 16's Ultimate Team of the Year, and shockingly there's no place in the squad for any Premier League player. Instead eight play for Spanish La Liga, with one player from France's Ligue 1, one from the German Bundesliga, and one from Italy Serie A were selected.
The full team duplicates the 'team of the year' from the 2015 Ballon d'Or awards.
('OVR' refers to their TOTY card's overall in-game rating out of 99.)
GK: Manual Neuer (FC Bayern, 96 OVR)
RB: Dani Alves (Barcelona, 92 OVR)
LB: Marcelo (Real Madrid, 89 OVR)
CB: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid, 94 OVR)
CB: Thiago Silva (Paris SG, 94 OVR)
CM: Paul Pogba (Juventus, 93 OVR)
CM: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona, 95 OVR)
CM: Luka Modric (Real Madrid, 93 OVR)
FW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 98 OVR)
FW: Lionel Messi (Barcelona, 99 OVR)
FW: Neymar (Barcelona, 97 OVR)
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