Ballon d'Or 2019: Lionel Messi's record-breaking six gongs in numbers

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Cristiano Ronaldo - like Messi, also a five-time victor - was again nominated.

Meanwhile, Van Dijk has said he is simply thankful to have been nominated, telling reporters: "Well, I think it doesn't matter as you said already, we'll see".

It appears unusual to believe Messi stands a chance of finishing a four-year Ballon d'Or drought, and having neglected to finish one of the top three at 2018 and placing second in consecutive decades before that.

"There are a couple of players like [Messi] who are fantastic".

Last year, Croatia's Luka Modric clinched his first-ever Ballon d'Or for leading his team to their maiden FIFA World Cup final and winning the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid.

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It's time for its largest person award in the realm of soccer as each fan expects to find out who will be declared as another Ballon D'Or.

The Dutch defender will be challenged for the award by Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine wizard scored an astonishing 60 goals for club and country in 2010, and beat club teammates Xavi and Andres Iniesta to the award. With 40 goals in 2019 alone, the Barcelona skipper shone brightly in the majority of the games he played. His sixth in his career which pushes him ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo for the most Ballon D'Or's for any player.

Coming off the back of another Champions League-winning season, again starring in a victory over Manchester United in the final - Messi was the clear victor in the vote, taking 47.88 percent ahead of Ronaldo in second with 21.6 percent and Xavi on 9.23 percent.

Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the award over the last decade, apart from a shock win a year ago for Real Madrid's Luka Modric.

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But Messi was back on top of his game over the past 12 months.

Messi won his 10th La Liga title in 2018/19, but was unable to go all the way in the Champions League with Barcelona. "And I want to work hard and be here again next year".

The Ballon d'Or is one of the most coveted trophies in a professional footballer's life, and the 2019 edition of the award will be announced by France Football on Monday, December 2, 2019.

"It was an incredible year, but there's a couple of players like that who are a bit unnatural", said Van Dijk, of Messi and Ronaldo.

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