FIFA’s International Player of the Year Awards


Lionel Messi won his seventh Ballon d’Or on Thursday night after helping Barcelona to a Spanish league and Copa del Rey title last season.

Paul Pogba got the only other goal in the French national team’s 2-0 World Cup-winning over Croatia on Saturday night in Moscow, and on Friday night, the United States defeated Sweden 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals. A day after the World Cup was over, Brazil routed Costa Rica 6-0 to reach the Copa semifinal stage.

Ronaldo won his fifth Ballon d’Or in January but recently admitted that he had underachieved.

“To be honest I thought I could do more because of the success we had in the last six years, and I deserved this award,” Ronaldo said. “But I’m the first to admit that the success wasn’t enough. We still have a lot to do.”

Messi won the men’s award from France Football magazine in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015. For four straight years, Messi finished runner-up to Ronaldo, starting in 2009.

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