Lionel Messi Picks Up Fifth Ballon D'Or, Carli Lloyd Wins For Women
For the fifth time in seven years, Barcelona and Argentine international striker Lionel Messi has won the FIFA Ballon D'Or for best soccer player. Messi received more votes than Real Madrid and Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo, and Barcelona teammate and Brazilian international Neymar to set the record for most Ballon D'Or wins.
Messi was dominant this year, scoring 48 goals for club and country. His 43 goals for Barcelona made him the second-highest scorer in La Liga and he also notched 21 assists, helping the club win three major titles during the 2014-2015 season — La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.
"It is a very special moment for me to be back here on this stage, winning again another Ballon d'Or after being there in the audience watching Cristiano win," Messi said.
Between them, Messi and Ronaldo have won the Ballon D'Or for the past eight years, with Ronaldo winning the award for 2008, Messi winning from 2009 - 2012, and Ronaldo winning again in 2013 and 2014.
Journalists, national team coaches and team captains vote for the winners. Messi received 41.33 percent of the votes, Ronaldo finished with 27.76 percent and Neymar drew 7.86 percent, according to the BBC.
Messi's highlight reel from the past season is nothing short of magical, but one goal stands out from the others. In the second half of the first leg of Barcelona's Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich in May 2015, Messi seamlessly dribbled around a defender and chipped the ball over the keeper. Watch the goal (complete with commentator Ray Hudson's hilarious reaction) here.
On the women's side, United States and Houston Dash midfielder Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final, won the award.
Lloyd beat out former Germany striker Celia Sasic, who finished second, and Japan midfielder Aya Miyama who helped her team to the World Cup final, where they lost to the U.S.
"It has been a dream ever since I started with the national team. Keep your dreams and just go after them," Lloyd said.
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