Benzema and Hazard, the Only Madridistas in the List of Ballon D'Or

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi has once again been crowned Ballon d'Or king - putting the Argentine out on his own as the only man to have picked up the award six times.

Voting for the annual award has long-since been concluded, and official confirmation of the victor will be announced on Monday at France Football's award ceremony in Paris.

Lionel Messi's outstanding start to 2019 made him the overwhelming favourite to win the Ballon d'Or but a Champions League loss to Vigil van Dijk's Liverpool made the race even more exciting. The fact that the match was played on the Ballon d'Or eve meant that everyone had to talk about Messi's performance who is, in fact, one of the frontrunners to win the award.

Lionel Messi is being tipped to win his sixth Ballon d'Or according to many emerging reports from Spain.

Messi has won the award five times in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.

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Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas who now plays for FC Porto has declared Barcelona star Lionel Messi as the greatest footballer ever in the round leather game. He was awarded with the golden boot trophy for scoring the most number of goals in Europe's top leagues and also finished as the Champions League top scorer. This time we only saw Karim Benzema shortlisted in the 26th position, clearly the best Real Madrid player during the last months. Along with being the highest goal-scorer and assist provider, Messi had also created more chances and completed more dribbles than any other player in La Liga. This year, Messi won it only touching silverware once, thanks to La Liga title.

Megan Rapinoe earlier won the women's Ballon d'Or after leading the United States to a record-extending fourth World Cup title in France this year as they retained the trophy.

He was among seven Liverpool players nominated, beside goalkeeper Alisson Becker, defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and forwards Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

There are 30 nominees in total for the prize, organised by France Football magazine and voted for by 180 journalists from around the world.

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