Argentina, Barcelona, Clubs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Story, Virgil van Dijk

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Lionel Messi beat Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo to claim a record sixth FIFA’s The Best award given to the top men’s player on Monday.

The award was handed to the Barcelona and Argentina captain at a ceremony in Milan.

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Messi, 32, led Barcelona to a fourth La Liga title in the past five seasons, scoring 36 goals and providing 15 assists in 35 league matches last campaign and posted 51 goals and 22 assists in all competitions.

Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric won the award last year, breaking up a years-long duel between Messi and Ronaldo for the prize. But Messi regained the award for a record sixth time, having previously won FIFA’s top award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.

Before Modric’s victory, Ronaldo and Messi had won every FIFA World Player of the Year award, which was renamed the FIFA Ballon d’Or in 2010 and The Best in 2016, since 2007 when Kaka was victorious.

In addition to the top player award, Debrecen forward Daniel Zsori won the Puskas Award for his over-head kick against Ferencvaros during a Hungarian league match.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp took home coach of the year, while Reds goalkeeper Alisson was named best keeper.

United States head coach Jill Ellis and midfielder Megan Rapinoe collected women’s coach and player of the year, respectively, for the USWNT’s World Cup triumph this summer, while Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal was voted women’s goalkeeper of the year after helping her country to the final of the competition.

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa was given the fair play award.

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