Lionel Messi will write more football history in Paris on Monday. The Argentine will once again have the recognition he deserves as the best player in the world when he is presented with his sixth Ballon d'Or. No one has won it more times.
The other favourites for the award were Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo, who were also his competitors for FIFA's The Best, although there was a shortlist of 30 players, including Neymar, Mbappé, Griezmann, De Jong and Mané. On that occasion, in Milan, Messi won the prize and he will now add the Ballon d'Or.
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Messi will replace Luka Modric, who won it last year after reaching the Champions League final with Croatia and winning the Champions League with Real Madrid.
Barça star Messi remains as decisive as ever -- as he proved against Atletico Madrid on Sunday. He told OTRO recently that "the first was the most special" but this one will be special, too, as it will move him clear of Ronaldo. Messi, at 32, is still in possession of his powers and still has years ahead of him.
Ronaldo, however, does not look comfortable in Italy and his numbers are even dropping. He was only the fourth top scorer in Serie A last season and is even lower this season, with six goals -- three from the penalty spot.
Messi, meanwhile, is the second top scorer in La Liga with nine goals despite missing chunks of the campaign injured. Karim Benzema is top with 10. Last year, Messi had no rival. He scored 36 goals, followed by Benzema and Luis Suarez, who both netted 21.
So, Messi will win his sixth Ballon d'Or, leaving behind Ronaldo, who has five. Following them, with three each, are Michel. Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten