Lionel Messi wins unprecedented Ballon d’Or 2015 over Ronaldo & Neymar

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player for the fifth time.

The 28-year-old Argentine had 41.33% of the vote, with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo (27.76%) second and Barca’s Neymar (7.86%) third. Either Messi or Ronaldo, who became a three-time winner last year, have won the past eight awards. 

Lionel Messi has won the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or award, scooping the best player in the world accolade for a record fifth time. The 28-year-old claimed the 2015 award voted for by a panel of journalists, international coaches and captains – at the annual ceremony in Zurich on Monday evening.

Messi’s goal in 2015 

61 games, 52 goals and 26 assists. A goal every 101 minutes and an assist every 202 minutes. Best minutes-per-goal rate 80 of anyone scoring a minimum of 10 goals across Europe’s top five leagues during 2015. Directly involved in 49 goals in La Liga – 34 scored and 15 assists – which was the joint-most with Ronaldo in 2015 across the top five European leagues. 

Scored in all six club tournaments in 2015, as Barcelona won five of them. Lionel Messi extended his record haul of world player of the year awards with his fifth after winning the treble – La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League – with Barcelona in 2014-15. Portugal captain Ronaldo, 30, had scored 57 goals in as many games  including a record 16 Champions League goals in 2015, but that was not enough to win him Ballon d’Or number four. 

Barcelona striker Neymar, 23, was the first Brazilian to finish in the top three since Kaka won the 2007 award. He scored 45 goals in 62 games and is joint top scorer in this season’s La Liga with 15, level with team-mate Luis Suarez.

“It’s a very special moment for me to be back here on this stage, winning again another Ballon d’Or after seeing Cristiano win it,” Messi said. “It’s incredible that it’s my fifth. Much more than anything I would have dreamed of as a kid.” I want to thank all those who voted for me first of all. I also want to thank my team-mates, as I always say none of this would ever have been possible without them. “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 grow and learn always.”: Lionel Messi