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Barcelona striker Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball for the best footballer in the world for the sixth time, after an outstanding 2018/19 season.

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Even by Messi's sensational standards, his campaign was historic. The Argentine, aged 32, scored 36 goals in 34 Liga matches while Barcelona defended his title, while he managed 12 more goals in just 10 Champions League matches.

In total, Messi scored 56 goals in 60 appearances for the club and the country last season.

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Messi beat his old foe Cristiano Ronaldo – who won the Serie A title in his first season with Juventus – as well as Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool, who earlier this season had won the title of Player of the Year for the masculine Europe. Luka Modric won the award last year, but was not ranked on the list of 30 finalists this time around.

Here we examine exactly how Messi managed to get his sixth Golden Ball – and the first since 2015.

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1/59 How Lionel Messi won the 2019 Golden Ball

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2/59 Sevilla 1-2 Barcelona

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3/59 Barcelona 3-0 Alaves

Two goals

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4/59 Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona

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5/59 Barcelona 8-2 Huesca

Two goals

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6/59 Sociedad 1-2 Barcelona

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7/59 Barcelona 4-0 PSV

Hat trick

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8/59 Barcelona 2-2 Girona

A goal

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9/59 Leganes 2-1 Barcelona

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10/59 Barcelona 1-1 Ath Bilbao

Yellow card

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11/59 Tottenham 2-4 Barcelona

Two goals

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12/59 Valencia 1-1 Barcelona

A goal

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13/59 Barcelona 4-2 Sevilla

A goal

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14/59 Barcelona 3-4 Real Betis

Two goals

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15/59 Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona

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16/59 PSV 1-2 Barcelona

A goal

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17/59 Barcelona 2-0 Villarreal

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18/59 Espanyol 0-4 Barcelona

Two goals

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19/59 Barcelona 1-1 Tottenham

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20/59 Levante 0-5 Barcelona

Hat trick

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21/59 Barcelona 2-0 Celta Vigo

A goal

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22/59 Getafe 1-2 Barelona

A goal

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23/59 Barcelona 3-0 Eibar

A goal

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24/59 Barcelona 3-0 Levante

A goal

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25/59 Barcelona 3-1 Leganes

A goal

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26/59 Girona 0-2 Barcelona

A goal

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27/59 Barcelona 6-1 Sevilla

A goal

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28/59 Barcelona 2-2 Valencia

Two goals

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29/59 Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid

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30/59 Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Barcelona

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31/59 Barcelona 1-0 Valladolid

One goal, yellow card

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32/59 Lyon 0-0 Barcelona

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33/59 Sevilla 2-4 Barcelona

Hat trick

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34/59 Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona

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35/59 Real Madrid 0-1 Barcelona

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36/59 Barcelona 3-1 Vallecano

A goal

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37/59 Barcelona 5-1 Lyon

Two goals

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38/59 Real Betis Seville 1-4 Barcelona

Three goals

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39/59 Argentina 1-3 Venezuela

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40/59 Barcelona 2-0 Espanyol

Two goals

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41/59 Villarreal 4-4 Barcelona

One goal, yellow card

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42/59 Barcelona 2-0 Atletico Madrid

A goal

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43/59 Manchester United 0-1 Barcelona

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44/59 Barcelona 3-0 Manchester United

Two goals

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45/59 Barcelona 2-1 Sociedad

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46/59 Alaves 0-2 Barcelona

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47/59 Barcelona 1-0 Levante

A goal

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48/59 Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool

Two goals

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49/59 Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona

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50/59 Barcelona 2-0 Getafe

AFP via Getty Images

51/59 Eibar 2-2 Barcelona

Two goals

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52/59 Barcelona 1-2 Valencia

A goal

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53/59 Argentina 5-1 Nicaragua

Two goals

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54/59 Argentina 0-2 Colombia

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55/59 Argentina 1-1 Paraguay

A goal

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56/59 Qatar 0-2 Argentina

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57/59 Venezuela 0-2 Argentina

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58/59 Brazil 2-0 Argentina

AFP via Getty Images

59/59 Argentina 2-1 Chile

Red card

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1/59 How Lionel Messi won the 2019 Golden Ball

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2/59 Sevilla 1-2 Barcelona

AFP via Getty Images

3/59 Barcelona 3-0 Alaves

Two goals

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4/59 Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona

AFP via Getty Images

5/59 Barcelona 8-2 Huesca

Two goals

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6/59 Sociedad 1-2 Barcelona

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7/59 Barcelona 4-0 PSV

Hat trick

AFP via Getty Images

8/59 Barcelona 2-2 Girona

A goal

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9/59 Leganes 2-1 Barcelona

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10/59 Barcelona 1-1 Ath Bilbao

Yellow card

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11/59 Tottenham 2-4 Barcelona

Two goals

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12/59 Valencia 1-1 Barcelona

A goal

AFP via Getty Images

13/59 Barcelona 4-2 Sevilla

A goal

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14/59 Barcelona 3-4 Real Betis

Two goals

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15/59 Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona

AFP via Getty Images

16/59 PSV 1-2 Barcelona

A goal

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17/59 Barcelona 2-0 Villarreal

AFP via Getty Images

18/59 Espanyol 0-4 Barcelona

Two goals

AFP via Getty Images

19/59 Barcelona 1-1 Tottenham

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20/59 Levante 0-5 Barcelona

Hat trick

AFP via Getty Images

21/59 Barcelona 2-0 Celta Vigo

A goal

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22/59 Getafe 1-2 Barelona

A goal

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23/59 Barcelona 3-0 Eibar

A goal

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24/59 Barcelona 3-0 Levante

A goal

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25/59 Barcelona 3-1 Leganes

A goal

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26/59 Girona 0-2 Barcelona

A goal

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27/59 Barcelona 6-1 Sevilla

A goal

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28/59 Barcelona 2-2 Valencia

Two goals

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29/59 Barcelona 1-1 Real Madrid

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30/59 Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Barcelona

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31/59 Barcelona 1-0 Valladolid

One goal, yellow card

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32/59 Lyon 0-0 Barcelona

AFP via Getty Images

33/59 Sevilla 2-4 Barcelona

Hat trick

AFP via Getty Images

34/59 Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona

AFP via Getty Images

35/59 Real Madrid 0-1 Barcelona

AFP via Getty Images

36/59 Barcelona 3-1 Vallecano

A goal

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37/59 Barcelona 5-1 Lyon

Two goals

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38/59 Real Betis Seville 1-4 Barcelona

Three goals

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39/59 Argentina 1-3 Venezuela

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40/59 Barcelona 2-0 Espanyol

Two goals

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41/59 Villarreal 4-4 Barcelona

One goal, yellow card

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42/59 Barcelona 2-0 Atletico Madrid

A goal

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43/59 Manchester United 0-1 Barcelona

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44/59 Barcelona 3-0 Manchester United

Two goals

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45/59 Barcelona 2-1 Sociedad

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46/59 Alaves 0-2 Barcelona

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47/59 Barcelona 1-0 Levante

A goal

AFP via Getty Images

48/59 Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool

Two goals

AFP via Getty Images

49/59 Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona

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50/59 Barcelona 2-0 Getafe

AFP via Getty Images

51/59 Eibar 2-2 Barcelona

Two goals

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52/59 Barcelona 1-2 Valencia

A goal

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53/59 Argentina 5-1 Nicaragua

Two goals

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54/59 Argentina 0-2 Colombia

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55/59 Argentina 1-1 Paraguay

A goal

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56/59 Qatar 0-2 Argentina

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57/59 Venezuela 0-2 Argentina

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58/59 Brazil 2-0 Argentina

AFP via Getty Images

59/59 Argentina 2-1 Chile

Red card

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What do you think of Messi's latest success at the Ballon d'Or? Let us know in the comment section below.

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