The decade-long monopoly over the most prestigious individual soccer prize held by the great Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo was broken a year ago by Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.
But once again, it was the name of Messi in the award, as he added to the Ballons d’Or he won in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
Lionel Messi warned Cristiano Ronaldo and other rivals that winning his sixth Golden Ball title has made him hungry to break more records.
Messi’s victory in the Ballon d’Or 2019 takes him one ahead of Ronaldo, which gives the Barcelona star the outright record.
He and Ronaldo have won the award 11 times among themselves in the past 12 years, and only Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric that has managed to broke their dominance over the award last year.
But Messi insists that his sixth Ballon d’Or will not be the greatest achievement of his brilliant career, but rather a step towards greater success.
The Argentine ace is now 32 years old, but says he plans to pack the rest of his career with all the prizes he can.
“I’m going to enjoy this with my family, because those times when it’s possible to do it do not last long,” he said after being presented with the Ballon d’Or at Monday night’s ceremony in Paris.
“Tomorrow we will have to focus again on other objectives.
“I am already focused on the future. This gives me great pride, it gives me a lot of strength to continue my work.”
Messi added: “To the journalists and my colleagues with whom I win and lose, I remember my first Ballon D’Or in Paris, when I arrived with my brothers – now I pick up the sixth, and this was absolutely unthinkable
“I never stopped dreaming and enjoying football like when I was a child.
“I hope I have more years to enjoy, although I am aware of how old I am, everything happens very quickly and I know that the moment of withdrawal (retirement) is approaching.”
As well as his record Ballon d’Or haul, Messi has won 10 La Liga titles, four European Cups, three UEFA Super Cups and the Copa del Rey six times, along with a huge haul of individual awards.