Lionel Messi has been named the Best Men’s Player at the Best Fifa Football Awards, beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk to the annual prize.
Messi has another 12 months to celebrate but again found the game’s top prizes out of his reach. Barcelona won La Liga once again as Messi was the top scorer across Europe and provided the most assists in Spain’s top flight.
However, a semi-final second-leg collapse at Anfield saw Barca miss out in the Champions League once again as Liverpool scored 4-0 to seal a remarkable 4-3 aggregate win.
On the international stage, Messi suffered another semi-final exit as Argentina lost 2-0 to Brazil in the Copa America in July before beating Chile in the third-place play-off.
After nine years at Real Madrid, Ronaldo moved to Juventus last summer in a deal worth £100million looking for a new challenge at the age of 33 and was named Serie A’s most valuable player 10 months later after winning the Scudetto.
Ronaldo finished as club’s top scorer in every domestic competition he competed in before leading Portugal to Uefa Nations League glory over the summer.
The forward scored a hat-trick in the semi-final win over Switzerland before captaining the final win over Netherlands in Porto.
Van Dijk is widely regarded as the best centre-back in the world, with the eyebrow-raising £75m price Liverpool for him in January 2018 now considered a bargain.
Liverpool have been transformed from a vulnerable defence to among the best in Europe, culminating with their Champions League triumph in June of this year after finishing as runners-up 12 months prior.
Such is his calmness in possession, Van Dijk went 50 games without being dribbled past between March 2018 and August 2019, which was key to the Reds’ agonising finish as runners-up behind Manchester City in the Premier League after winning 97 points.