Lionel Messi wins 2015 Ballon d’Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar
Barcelona 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.
Messi’s performances were, at times, mesmerising and his highlights from the past 12 months include his goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final, when he chipped Manuel Neuer from six yards, and his solo run against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final.
That goal was a contender for the Puskas Award, which is given to mark the previous year’s golden goal, but on this occasion, Messi had to settle for minor honours. Wendell Lira, a Brazilian forward, won it for his spectacular overhead kick for Goianesia.
He scored 52 goals and 26 assists in 61 games for club and country in 2015.