Lionel Messi won his record sixth Ballon d’Or last night while Megan Rapinoe won her first.
Both odds-on favourites before the announcement, it’s been an amazing year for both. Rapinoe was crowned a world champions once again after the World Cup in France saw her US side dominate. Megan Rapinoe was outspoken off the pitch, too, touching on issues of equality in the sport and even talking down President Trump.
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This year has been the craziest of them all. I don’t even really know how put into words how special this has been. The TEAM shook the world, and continues to. Yes the 23 players on the field, yes the coaching staff, and extended staff for the team, but the TEAM I’m talking about goes far beyond those who are lucky enough to wear the crest. The TEAM is our family, friends, girlfriends and boyfriends, wives and husbands. The TEAM is the thousands of fans who cheered for a team that asked them to care more about just the game of soccer, more than just themselves, more than just people who looked like them, more than just winning. For that, I am forever grateful. I think this World Cup win, and all the subsequent wins, both personal and team, feel so special because for the first time in a long time, it feels like WE ALL WON. And while I am truly honored to win @francefootball Ballon D’Or, I’d like to accept this on behalf of us ALL. WE DESERVE THIS. I am forever grateful to my beautiful family❤️ I know for a fact I wouldn’t be here with out you @sbird10 I love you forever 🦖
For Messi, it was more of the same Messi. Goal after goal and another La Liga title marked yet another incredible year for the Argentine forward. However, many people thought that Virgil van Dijk’s efforts would have made him the first defender to win the Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro back in 2006.
The Liverpool defender has had an exception 18 months, winning the Champions League and helping steer the Dutch national side in the right direction, too. Even so, few can argue with Lionel Messi being crowned the best player in men’s football once again.