Lionel Messi sets record, wins fifth Ballon d’Or award

Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi has won the FIFA Ballon d’Or for a record fifth time.

The Argentine overcame competition from perennial rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who had won the award for the last two years, and Barca teammate Neymar, who was in the top three for the first time.

Lionel Messi receives the Ballon d'Or during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2015 at the Kongresshaus on January 11, 2016

Messi and Neymar, alongside Luis Suarez, spearheaded a record-breaking front three to fire Barcelona to five trophies in 2015, including a memorable treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and the Champions League last season.

The trio scored 122 goals for Barca in the 2014-15 campaign, with Messi providing 58 of those, including a memorable solo effort in the Copa del Rey final that made it into the top three for the 2015 Puskas Award.

The 28-year-old also broke the record for the most hat-tricks in Spanish football history and most La Liga assists during 2015, finishing the year by scoring in the FIFA Club World Cup final and then again on his 500th appearance for the club.

Messi had previously won the Ballon d’Or four years in a row between 2009-12, but missed out to Ronaldo in 2013 and 2014.

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