Messi wins 6th Ballon d'Or, breaks tie with Ronaldo for most ever

Barcelona star Lionel Messi was awarded a record sixth Ballon d'Or distinction Monday in Paris.

Messi's victory marks his first Ballon d'Or nod since 2015 and moves him past Cristiano Ronaldo for most all time. He also won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Liverpool's dominant center-back Virgil van Dijk finished second in the voting, while Ronaldo nabbed third just ahead of Sadio Mane.

"I am very lucky, I am blessed. I hope I will continue for a long time," Messi told reporters, according to ESPN. "I realize that I'm lucky even if one day it will be time to retire.

"It will be tough, but I still have some years ahead of me. Time flies, so I will enjoy football and my family."

Messi had a stellar calendar year, guiding Barcelona to a Spanish title while also winning a sixth European Golden Shoe and La Liga's Player of the Year for the eighth time in 11 years.

The 32-year-old Argentine finished a surprising fifth in last year's voting as Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric ended Messi and Ronaldo's 10-year reign of co-dominance over football's most praised individual award.

France Football has handed out the Ballon d'Or annually since 1956, recognizing the male player who had the best year in both club and international football as determined by a vote by football journalists.

Messi wins 6th Ballon d'Or, breaks tie with Ronaldo for most ever
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