Not everybody was best pleased by Lionel Messi’s Ballon d’Or win last week, his sixth win in all going back to 2009 when he first pipped Cristiano Ronaldo.
Since that first success the two have virtually gone head to head, with the exception of 2018 when Luka Modrić won it by a landslide.
This year the polling was much closer than ever before with just 7 votes separating 1st and 2nd in the poll conducted by football broadcasters, journalists, as well as coaches and captains of national teams, from each of the 176 voting nations.
The vote didn’t go down at all well in Liverpool where supportes thought Virgil van Dijk deserved the honour, so on Wednesday frustrated fans erected a sign outside Anfield ahead of Liverpool’s Merseyside derby against Everton reading “Ballon d’Or stolen,” complete with Van Dijk’s image. “If found, please return to it’s rightful owner.”
Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, didn’t attend the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris on Monday night, instead opting to go to the Serie A awards gala, where he won the prizes for best forward and best player in the Italian league. He didn’t watch Lionel Messi receive his sixth Ballon d’Or and even stayed in his car until it was time for him to get his award in Milan.
In the women’s game USA Superstar Megan Rapinoe won the Golden Ball having led team USA to a second successive World Cup win in 2019 while England defender Lucy Bronze finished second.