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How the papers reacted to Lionel Messi’s sixth Ballon d’Or win

Lionel Messi is unsurprisingly all over the front pages across Europe on Tuesday after scooping his sixth Ballon d’Or in Paris.

The Barcelona captain has now won the prestigious award more times than any other player after beating off competition from Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi’s win dominates the headlines in Spain, Italy, France and England, so here’s a quick look at how the news was covered by the press. Sport have a picture of Lionel Messi with all six of his Ballon d’Or trophies and the headline ‘Football only has one god’

He gives his whereabouts after missing the Ballon d’Or ceremony (he preferred to watch the FA Cup third round draw instead, obviously).

“I would have loved to be here with you, but sadly my schedule didn’t allow me, bacause I have a game this Wednesday. I congratulate the winner. Next year I’ll try to be there and maybe lift the Ballon d’Or!”

“I am very proud to have gone this far,” said the Netherlands international.

“If I see what I have done since last year. Is Messi the best in history? He came to the top and he is here because he is one of the best in the world. Everyone thinks what they want.”

“I’m happy to be here. It’s good to be there all together,” said the Bayern forward.

“It’s something special to be here, a beautiful experience. To win the Ballon d’Or six times is incredible. He is one of the best players in the world, and surely one of the best players in football history.”

While Virgil van Dijk just missed becoming the first defender since 2006 to claim the award, he was well represented by fellow Reds in the top 10.

Liverpool players occupied 40% of the final 10 and over half of the final 7. Sadio Mane (4), Mo Salah (5), and Alisson Becker (7) joined VVD atop the list.

Other Liverpool players represented well in the top 30. Georginio Wijnaldum (26), Trent Alexander-Arnold (19), and Roberto Firmino (17) were on the finalist short-list.