Barcelona forward Lionel Messi on Monday won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player for the fifth time.
The 28-year-old Argentine had 41.33% of the vote, with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo (27.76%) second and Barca’s Neymar (7.86%) third.
Either Messi or Ronaldo, who became a three-time winner last year, have won the past eight awards.
United States midfielder Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final, won the women’s award.
England coach Mark Sampson was beaten to the women’s football coach of the year award by USA boss Jill Ellis, who was born in Portsmouth.
Ronaldo, 30, had scored 57 goals in as many games — including a record 16 Champions League goals — in 2015, but that was not enough to win him Ballon d’Or number four.
Barcelona striker Neymar, 23, was the first Brazilian to finish in the top three since Kaka won the 2007 award. He scored 45 goals in 62 games and is joint top scorer in this season’s La Liga with 15, level with teammate Luis Suarez.
“It’s a very special moment for me to be back here on this stage, winning again another Ballon d’Or after seeing Cristiano win it,” Messi said.
“It’s incredible that it’s my fifth. Much more than anything I would have dreamt of as a kid.”
USA’s World Cup-winning midfielder Carli Lloyd, 33, won the women’s world player of the year award after scoring a hat-trick in the final against Japan, including a sensational strike from the halfway line. She earned the Golden Ball for best player in the tournament.
Lloyd said, “It has been a dream ever since I started with the national team. Keep your dreams and just go after them.”
Real Madrid had as many players as Barcelona, four, in the World Team of the Year despite not winning a trophy.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was German champions Bayern Munich’s only representative. The Premier League was the only of Europe’s top five leagues to not have anyone in the team.
|Past Ballon d’Or winners|
|2014: Cristiano Ronaldo||2008: Cristiano Ronaldo|
|2013: Cristiano Ronaldo||2007: Kaka|
|2012: Lionel Messi||2006: Fabio Cannavaro|
|2011: Lionel Messi||2005: Ronaldinho|
|2010: Lionel Messi||2004: Andriy Shevchenko|
|2009: Lionel Messi||2003: Pavel Nedved|
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