2019 Ballon d'Or winners: Messi beats Ronaldo; USWNT soccer star Megan Rapinoe takes women's honor

Barcelona superstar attacker Lionel Messi won the 2019 Ballon d'Or during the 64th annual ceremony on Monday in Paris. The award was presented by France Football, recognizing the best player in the world for all of 2019. Messi beat Liverpool star defender Virgil van Dijk and Juventus man Cristiano Ronaldo to take home the award, winning it for a record sixth time, moving into sole possession of first for most wins all time. USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, who led her country to a World Cup title this summer, was named the winner of the 2019 women's Ballon d'Or.

The win for Messi gives him his first Ballon d'Or since 2015. Messi had 51 goals in 50 games for Barcelona last season and had five goals for Argentina in this calendar year. The 32-year-old scored a brilliant winner on Sunday as Barca won 1-0 at Atletico Madrid in La Liga action.

Luka Modric won the award last year.

On the women's side, Rapinoe completed her extraordinary year with one more trophy. Rapinoe won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball at the 2019 Women's World Cup, scoring six goals in just five games at the tournament. Rapinoe scored three times from the penalty spot in the World Cup, including against the Netherlands in the final.

Rapinoe, 34, was also named the FIFA Women's Player of the Year in 2019. She beat out England's Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan, her American teammate, for the 2019 Ballon d'Or. Ada Hegerberg won the Ballon d'Or in 2018, the first year it was presented to women's players.

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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