Lionel Messi was named the 2015 Ballon d’Or winner on Monday, becoming the only player to win world soccer’s biggest honor for a fifth time.
American Carli Lloyd was named women’s world player of the year, while U.S. women’s team coach Jill Ellis was named the women’s coach of the year. Both awards were expected after the United States’ decisive triumph in last summer’s World Cup.
Barcelona swept the men’s awards, as Luis Enrique was named male coach of the year. In 2015, Barcelona won La Liga, the Copa del Rey, the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA World Club Cup.
Messi finished ahead of fellow finalists Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar to pick up the trophy for the fifth time since 2009. He or Ronaldo have won every year since 2008, so the award was presented yet again by 2007 winner Kaká, who now plays for Orlando City in MLS.
With his fifth win, the Barcelona forward takes the record back from Ronaldo. Messi was the first player to win the award four times after his 2012 win, but Real Madrid’s star won in 2013 and 2014 to make it 4-4. Ronaldo was also denied a third straight win, something previously accomplished by Michel Platini (1983-85) and Messi, who won four straight from 2009-12.
With Neymar finishing third, it marked the seventh straight season that the top three spots had gone to players from just three teams – Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. The last finalists from other teams were Ronaldo, who played for Manchester United when he won in 2008, and Liverpool’s Fernando Torres, who finished third that year. No player from Serie A has finished in the top three since Kaká’s win in 2007 for AC Milan.