Ballon d'Or 2019: Messi, Rapinoe Win Major Awards in Paris

The USWNT star won France Football's second ever women's Ballon d'Or while the Barcelona captain earned his sixth, thus making history by surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo (5).
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The 2019 Ballon d'Or awards ceremony took place on Monday in Paris and it was a great evening for Lionel Messi and Megan Rapinoe. For the USWNT star and World Cup champion, it was her first Ballon d'Or as she beat out stars such as England's Lucy Bronze and USWNT teammate Alex Morgan. It was a great year for Rapinoe, whose individual achievements at this summer's World Cup included the Golden Boot (after scoring six goals) and the Golden Ball for top scorer and best player.

Sadly, Rapinoe couldn't be present but thanked the organization via video. Her parents and family also sent messages of support. 

On the men's side, Messi beat out Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk for the prestigious trophy, which is voted by panel of journalists, 10 years after winning his first as a 22-year-old. From a team perspective, it was a rollercoaster 2018/2019 as the Argentine failed to win the Champions League and Copa America, but he did win the league and was top scorer both in Spain and Europe - his sixth Golden Shoe with 36 goals. In total, La Pulga tallied 51 goals in 50 matches in all competitions last season. He also passed the 600 goal mark with Barça.   

The ceremony also celebrated Matthijs de Ligt, who won the aforementioned Kopa Trophy, for best U-21 player in 2018/2019. He had a fantastic season, which included a successful Champions League run with his former club Ajax, as well as reaching the Nations League final with the Netherlands.

Liverpool's Alisson won the new award Yachine trophy for best goalkeeper. His achievements last season - including the Champions League and a Copa America title with Brazil - could not be ignored.

Here is France Football's complete list in the men's category:

28: Marquinhous

28: Joao Felix

28: Donny van de Beek

26: Georginio Wijnaldum

26: Karim Benzema

24: Kaliou Koulibaly

24: Marc-Andre ter Stegen

23: Hugo Lloris

22: Heung-min Son

20: Dusan Tadic

20: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

19: Trent Alexander-Arnold

18: Antoine Griezmann

17: Roberto Firmino

16: Sergio Aguero

15: Matthijs de Ligt

14: Kevin de Bruyne

13: Eden Hazard

12: Raheem Sterling

11: Frenkie de Jong

10. Riyad Mahrez

9. Bernardo Silva

8. Robert Lewandowski 

7. Alisson

6. Kylian Mbappe

5. Mohamed Salah

4. Sadio Mane

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

2. Virgil van Dijk

1. Lionel Messi