Lionel Messi wins 2015 Ballon d’Or ahead of Ronaldo, Neymar

Updated: January 11, 2016

Messi, Lionel messi, Lionel Messi wins 2015 Ballon d'Or ahead of Ronaldo, NeymarBarcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi was awarded the 2015 Ballon d’Or at Monday’s gala in Zurich.

Messi, 28, had finished behind longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo in both 2013 and 2014 but was a clear winner of FIFA’s top individual honour for a record fifth time in his career.

After a year in which Barca won five trophies, including the Champions League and La Liga titles, the Blaugrana No. 10 had been an overwhelming favourite to take the prize.

“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,” Messi said in accepting his award.

“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.”

Voting for the Ballon d’Or award is by men’s national team captains and head coaches, along with international media representatives selected by France Football magazine.

Messi received 41.33 percent of votes, while Cristiano Ronaldo was easily second with 27.76 percent, and Neymar earned 7.86 percent.

Ezekiel Azure Zion is a sports writer and a blogger who loves what he does.

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