Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been declared the 2019 Ballon D'or winner, living up to his billing as the greatest of all time.

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Messi beat worthy competitors in Netherlands' and Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk who came second, Portugal's and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo who came third, and Senegal's and Liverpool's Sadio Mane who came fourth according to the Independent.

Sky News records that Messi has been involved in a total of 63 goals for both club and country in the past year.

The win, a record 6th, further cements his name in the pantheon footballing greats.

Barcelona now becomes the football club to have won the most Ballon D'or awards, 12 in total, with Messi having won half of those.

In his speech, the Barcelona star expressed his gratitude to his teammates.

"To the journalists and my colleagues with whom I win and lose, I remember my first Ballon D’Or in Paris, when I arrived with my brothers, now I pick up the sixth, and this was absolutely unthinkable. I never stopped dreaming and enjoying football like when I was a child. I hope I have more years to enjoy, although I am aware of how old I am, everything happens very quickly and I know that the moment of withdrawal (retirement) is approaching," Messi said as quoted by the Guardian.

In spite of being the best player in the world, Messi has never won a world cup trophy for his country, a reality that has hung over his football career like a dark cloud.

Most of his major trophies have been won at his club Barcelona.