Barcelona star Lionel Messi gave an ecstatic reaction after winning a record fifth FIFA Ballon d'Or at the 2015 Gala in Zurich on Monday, recapturing the award from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Per the Telegraph's JJ Bull, the 28-year-old said:
It's a very special moment for me, winning another Ballon d'Or after being in the audience watching Cristiano win the last two years.
I want to thank all who voted for me and my team-mates who without none of this would be possible.
It’s incredible this is my fifth. It’s much more than anything I’ve dreamed of as a kid.
I want to thank football for everything it has brought me—both bad and good, it has helped me grow.
The forward comfortably won the award with over a third of the vote, per FIFA Media:
FIFA Media @fifamedia
FIFA #BallondOr 2015 winner #Messi received 41.33% of all votes ahead of #Cristiano (27.76%) & #Neymar (7.86%).2016-1-11 18:54:56
Reaction poured in on social media as fellow players and pundits alike praised the diminutive star:
Alex Morgan @alexmorgan13
Congrats #Messi well deserved!! 👏🏼👑 https://t.co/2n1rSv2nqu2016-1-11 18:58:34
Ben Hayward @bghayward
#Messi wins the #BallondOr for the fifth time. Unprecedented. The finest footballer the world has ever seen. ¡Felicidades!2016-1-11 18:53:53
Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117
This little man is worth more than all awards in the world. Messi is unique, enjoy him while you can.2016-1-11 18:55:09
Rik Sharma @riksharma_
It's slightly worrying if anything that 60% of voters didn't think Messi was the best player in 20152016-1-11 18:59:29
Sergi Domínguez @FutbolSergi
Lionel Messi wins his 5th Ballon d'Or! But nothing will ever measure his superiority over any superlative.2016-1-11 18:53:34
Messi had an incredible 2015, in which he racked up an incredible 52 goals and 26 assists in 61 appearances in all competitions, helping Barca win five of a possible six trophies.
With many years at the top still left in him, the Argentinian could well be set to add to his incredible haul of Ballon d'Or's in the future.