LIONEL MESSI

Messi: Ballon d'Or is a beautiful recognition

While talking up his team-mates, Lionel Messi labelled the Ballon d'Or a "beautiful recognition".

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Messi: Ballon d'Or is a beautiful recognition

Barcelona star Lionel Messi talked up the significance of the Ballon d'Or, but said even the individual award came down to team success.

Messi, 32, is a five-time winner of the prize, claiming it in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award as many times and Messi said it was a huge honour, although he acknowledged his team-mates were key to his success.

"It is a beautiful recognition and perhaps the most special was the first," he told Otro.

"It is something that comes from the collective. Without having achieved all the collective successes that we had to achieve, I wouldn't have been able to get these individual awards."

Messi will again be among the favourites to win the Ballon d'Or this year, having enjoyed a fine 2019 for Barcelona.

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"The image of the three nominees for the Ballon d'Or, it was special for us because of the friendship we have," he said.

"Being so long in the same club, all three living practically the same during our whole careers and special for the club. For what it means, the truth is it was impressive."

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