The votes are in — and Lionel Messi has come out on top once again! The pro soccer player beat Cristiano Ronaldo and won the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for 2016. Congrats!
The champ is here! Lionel Messi is the recipient of the FIFA Ballon d’Or award this year, recognized by soccer captains, managers and journalists for his incredible year of play. This is his fifth time accepting the honor, and he had to beat out fan-favorite soccer stud Cristiano Ronaldo to do it!
“It’s a very special moment for me,” Lionel said. “It’s incredible that it’s my fifth. It’s more than anything I dreamed of as a kid. I want to thank those that voted for me and my teammates, as without them, nothing would be possible. Finally, I want to thank football and what it’s brought me — the bad and the good — as it’s made me grow as a person.”
Lionel was actually the first player to win this award in its inaugural year back in 2010, and he went on to win it in 2011 and 2012, as well. Cristiano took the title the two following years, but the Argentine footballer made his comeback in 2015, and has clearly kept the streak going. It was well deserved, too, as he finished 2015 with 48 goals, 23 assists and five trophies, receiving more than 40 percent of the votes. Cristiano fell behind in second place, gathering just over 27%.
Meanwhile, on the woman’s side, U.S. soccer star, Carli Lloyd, was awarded the honor. “It’s been a dream of mine,” she told reporters. “I want to thank everyone that voted for me and everyone at US Soccer for their support. I want to thank Jill and her coaching staff. I want to thank my incredible teammates, as we all know it took 23 players to win the World Cup.” They couldn’t have done it without you, though, Carli!
HollywoodLifers, are you surprised that Lionel beat Cristiano again?