Argentina and Barcelona goal machine Lionel Messi wins FIFA Ballon d’Or for record fifth time

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Argentina and Barcelona goal machine Lionel Messi has been declared the best footballer of the year, for record fifth time.

He beat Portugal and Real Madrid player Christiano Ronaldo and his Barcelona teammate Neymar.

After winning the Ballon d’Or, Messi said,  “It is a special moment to win another Ballon d’Or after watching Cristiano win. It is incredible it is my fifth, more than I dreamed of as a kid.

“I would like to thank all who voted for me, my teammates and football in general for everything it has brought me, bad and good, it has made me grow and learn always.”

Arguably the greatest player of this generation, Messi was recognised by international captains, managers and journalists for his outstanding performances during 2015. It was the season when Barcelona became the first team to complete the treble of La Liga title, league cup and Champions League for the second time in its history.

As always, Messi played a pivotal role in securing what was an unprecedented success for Barcelona. His highlights included his goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final, when he chipped Manuel Neuer from six yards, and his solo run against Atletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final.

In 2015, Messi played 61 games, scored 52 goals while credited with 26 assists.

In other words, Messi scored a goal every 101 minutes and an assist every 202 minutes.

He has scored in all six club tournaments in 2015, as Barcelona won five of them.

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