sport news From a wonderkid to a veteran… Lionel Messi caps a decade of dominance

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From a fresh-faced wonderkid to a bearded veteran… Lionel Messi caps a decade of dominance as he surpasses Cristiano Ronaldo again with a sixth Ballon d'Or triumph Lionel Messi beat Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to the Ballon d'Or It is the sixth time the Barcelona and Argentina star has claimed the prize His latest triumph comes 10 years after his first when he was 22-years-old

By James Dutton For Mailonline

Published: 23:55 GMT, 2 December 2019 | Updated: 23:56 GMT, 2 December 2019

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Ten years after his first, Lionel Messi got his hands on the Ballon d'Or for a sixth time on Monday night.

His most recent accolade caps an astonishing decade at the top of the sport for the Barcelona and Argentina star.

Speaking in the midst of a world media circus and tightly clutching his award, Messi said: 'I am very grateful to the people of Barcelona and all the affection they show to me.

Lionel Messi was crowned the 2019 Ballon d'Or in a ceremony in Paris on Monday night

Lionel Messi was crowned the 2019 Ballon d'Or in a ceremony in Paris on Monday night

Messi poses with his six prizes as he won the award again - 10 years after the first time

Messi poses with his six prizes as he won the award again - 10 years after the first time

Last year's winner Luka Modric applauds as Messi poses with his latest Ballon d'Or

Last year's winner Luka Modric applauds as Messi poses with his latest Ballon d'Or

'It's a special day and this award means so much and I am very happy. 

'The truth is that the routine doesn't allow me much time to stop and think and enjoy all that we have achieved. 

MESSI'S BALLON D'ORS

2009

2010

2011

2012

2015

2019

'I will enjoy it today and enjoy time with my family, then start thinking about what is coming next, as I always do.

'I will think about all I have achieved as soon as I have time. But at the moment everything is going so fast that I can only think about the next game.'

The 32-year-old finished ahead of runner-up Virgil van Dijk and his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo in third.

Monday's victory now puts Messi back out in front, with the Juventus star rooted on five successes having drawn level just 12 months ago.

It was his first triumph since 2015, and 10 years after his first it offers a neat

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