Barcelona star Lionel Messi was awarded a record sixth Ballon d’Or distinction Monday in Paris.
Messi’s victory marks his first Ballon d’Or nod since 2015 and moves him past Cristiano Ronaldo for the most all-time. It also puts Barcelona level with Real Madrid with seven total honors apiece for the Spanish giants.
Messi had a stellar calendar year, guiding Barcelona to a Spanish title while also winning a sixth European Golden Shoe and La Liga’s Player of the Year for the eighth time in 11 years.
The 32-year-old Argentine finished a surprising fifth in last year’s voting as Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric ended Messi and Ronaldo’s 10-year reign of co-dominance over football’s most praised individual award.
France Football has handed out the Ballon d’Or annually since 1956, recognizing the male player who had the best year in both club and international football as determined by a vote by football journalists.