The Argentinian sensation won his first Ballon d’Or, FIFA’s highest honour as player of the year, in 2009. Since 2008, the prize has been shared between Ronaldo and Messi, with no other players able to dethrone the top two. This is the first time Messi has earned the award since 2012, giving him a world record five total wins.
Here’s a look at Messi’s prize-winning year by the numbers:
- 52 goals and 26 assists in 61 games
- A goal every 101 minutes
- An assist every 202 minutes
- A minutes-per-goal rate of 80 – the best of any player scoring a minimum of 10 goals across Europe’s top 5 leagues
- Goals in all six club tournaments in 2015, as Barcelona won five
As for Messi’s take on the honour, he told a reporter he would happily trade all of his Ballon d’Or trophies for a single World Cup win. “Team awards are more important than individual ones,” he said.