Three days, two landmarks for FC Barcelona Little Master Lionel Messi
FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi beat Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to lift the Ballon d'Or for the record sixth time Monday...
FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi beat Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to lift the Ballon d'Or for the record sixth time Monday night in Paris.
Messi, who bettered Ronaldo's five titles, won the award for his 54 goals for his club and country during the 2018-19 season, in which Barca even won the La Liga.
A total of 30 candidates were shortlisted for the award, which is presented by France Football. Out of the final top seven, four belonged to Premier League leaders, Liverpool FC, including defender van Dijk, forward duo of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah at fourth and fifth place and goalkeeper Alisson Becker at the seventh slot.
Becker eventually had a trophy to his name when he defeated Barcelona and Germany's Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Brazilian compatriot Ederson of Manchester City to clinch the inaugural Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper.
The day before the Ballon d'Or 2019 ceremony also saw Messi scripting history in La Liga. Barca flew down to Madrid to take on former champions, Atletico Madrid. They needed a win to reclaim the top spot in the points table and their skipper ensured they ended the match with the job done.
In the final minutes before the stoppage time, Messi cut in, played 1-2 with Luis Suarez before he guided the ball into the bottom corner to score and hand Barca a stunning 1-0 win on Sunday.
The goal also meant, Messi now has scored in all the current 20 stadiums in the La Liga. As Wanda Metropolitano was the only stadium in the Spanish league where Messi was yet to leave his mark and considering his stature over the years, it had been an unusual exception.
According to the statistics, Messi's two most favourite stadiums over the years have been Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan and Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu, where the Argentine has netted as many as 12 and 11 goals respectively.
His tally at the remaining current top-flight La Liga stadiums is:
10 – Ciutat de Valencia (Levante UD)
9 – Mestalla (Valencia CF)
8 – Ipurua (SD Eibar)
7 – El Sadar (CA Osasuna), Benito Villamarin (Real Betis)
6 – Son Moix (RCD Mallorca), Estadio de la Ceramica (Villarreal CF), Coliseum Alfonso Perez (Getafe CF)
4 – RCDE Stadium (RCD Espanyol), Reale Arena (Real Sociedad)
3 – Nuevo Los Carmenes (Granada CF), Mendizorrotza (D. Alaves)
2 – San Mames (Athletic Club), Butarque (CD Leganes), Abanca Balaidos (RC Celta), Jose Zorrilla (Real Valladolid).