Lionel Messi creates history, betters own record to bag fifth Ballon d'Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo
It came as no surprise as Messi was heavily favoured to reclaim the prize from three-time winner Ronaldo.
New Delhi: Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi created history as he won the prestigious Ballon d'Or for the record fifth time by beating Real Madrid star striker Cristiano Ronaldo in Zurich on Monday in a grand ceremony.
It came as no surprise as the Argentine was heavily favoured to reclaim the prize from three-time winner Ronaldo.
Brazil striker Neymar, who plays alongside Messi at Barca, was also in the running to be crowned world player of the year after he was included on the three-man shortlist for the first time.
Messi and Neymar, along with overlooked Uruguay star Luis Suarez, formed a formidable front three that propelled Barca to five trophies in 2015, including a second Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey treble in six seasons.
In the past, Messi had won the award four times in a row from 2009 to 2012.
In 2015, Barca star player scored 48 goals for his club as the Catalan giants reclaimed their status as the world's top club side, easily overcoming South American champions River Plate in the Club World Cup in Japan last month.
Neymar, who this time appeared an outsider for the award, is certainly emerging as the main threat to end the Messi-Ronaldo Ballon d'Or stranglehold.