Image copyright AFP Image caption Messi fell just short of his personal target of a record ninth consecutive Ballon d’Or award
Lionel Messi has won his seventh Ballon d’Or for being the best player in the world during the past year.
Messi was named on the shortlist for the award for the 10th time by Fifa, who take the poll of journalists who cover the game worldwide.
The Argentina forward scored 48 goals in 50 games for Barcelona last season.
Earlier this month, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba were among three finalists for the award.
Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo ended Messi’s run of consecutive wins, winning the accolade for the fourth time.
Messi missed out on the 2018 World Cup with Argentina after helping his club win the Champions League and a treble in the Spanish league and cup.
The winner will be named at Fifa’s Fifa Ballon d’Or awards ceremony on 26 January, although that has been moved from Paris.
Messi, 30, now has the same number of Ballon d’Or trophies as Real Madrid and Liverpool legend Luis Suarez, who was included on the 2017 shortlist.
Messi said on Instagram last year that he had “had enough” of missing out on the prize and that he wanted to win the award for a record seventh time.