Before likely collecting his sixth Ballon d'Or on Monday evening, Lionel Messi had time to visit Madrid and demonstrate once more why there's nobody quite like him.
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi acknowledged "the moment of withdrawal is approaching" after picking up a record sixth Ballon d'Or crown at Monday's ceremony in Paris. The Argentina ace beat competition from UEFA Champions League victor Virgil van Dijk and UEFA Nations League victor Cristiano Ronaldo to bag his sixth award.
Despite playing together with Cristiano Ronaldo for many years at Real Madrid, Iker Casillas was impressed with Lionel Messi's performance for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid.
"If you give the Ballon d'Or to the best player of this generation then you should give it always to Lionel Messi".
But even at 32, Messi is continuing to show brilliance week in, week out - which makes him a fitting victor of the award for a record sixth time.
It's the most prestigious individual honour in football - and tonight the Ballon d'Or will be handed over to a new victor. Barcelona fell short in the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey but Messi's tally of 51 goals last season can not be overlooked and that makes him one of the top contenders to take home the prestigious award.
Messi is into his 16th season with Barcelona and made his 700th appearance for the LaLiga champions in last week's 3-1 win against Borussia Dortmund. It's that time of the year when we witness the crowning of the world's best men's footballer. He was awarded with the golden boot trophy for scoring the most number of goals in Europe's top leagues and also finished as the Champions League top scorer. "There are a couple of players like him (Messi) who are fantastic".
"Formula for football: goalkeeper top & player (GOAT)".
Alisson, one of the four Liverpool players in the top seven for the men's Ballon d'Or, was awarded the new Yashin trophy for the best male goalkeeper of the year.
It came after a year in which Barca claimed an incredible five-trophy haul, including Champions League and La Liga titles.