Messi wins 6th Ballon d’Or as Rapinoe takes women’s prize

I hope to keep enjoying my football, my family, facing my rivals and all of this life that I have

by AFP/ pic by AFP

PARIS • Lionel Messi (picture) said he hoped to carry on undimmed by age after claiming a record sixth men’s Ballon d’Or award at the age of 32 in Paris on Monday, while US World Cup superstar Megan Rapinoe took the women’s prize.

Rapinoe was not at the Chatelet Theatre in the French capital, unable to make the trip back to the country where she led the US to victory in July.

However, Messi was there with his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, and two of their children. It is Messi’s first Ballon d’Or since 2015 and his sixth overall as he moves one ahead of old rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It is 10 years since I won my first Ballon d’Or here in Paris and I remember coming here with my three brothers. I was 22 and it was all unthinkable for me what I was going through,” Messi said on stage after receiving the award from last year’s winner Luka Modric.

“I hope I have several years left to keep enjoying my football.

I am aware of the age I have and these moments are all the more enjoyable because the moment when I have to retire is getting closer and that is difficult.

“All going well, I’ll have several years left, but at the moment time seems to be flying and everything is happening very quickly.

“I hope to keep enjoying my football, my family, facing my rivals and all of this life that I have.”