Lionel Messi was rewarded for the remarkable 36 goals he scored in 34 Liga appearances during 2018/19, ultimately inspiring Barcelona to the Spanish title, when he was named the best men’s player at the Best FIFA Football Awards. The 32-year-old Argentinian, perhaps the finest player of all time, had won the award’s predecessor, the Ballon D’Or, in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. His team’s La Liga and Spanish Cup double means he now has 34 winners’ medals with Barca, contributing to him being recognised ahead of, among others, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk.
That Messi also recorded his 600th goal for the Spanish champions, and 400th in La Liga, means that he continues to break and set new records. He has surpassed Xavi as the Barca player to win most matches, and gone past Iker Casillas’ record in the Spanish top flight. His 10 La Liga titles also means he remains on course to surpass Francisco Gento’s total of 12, set with rivals Real Madrid.