The best moments from the Ballon d'Or 2015 ceremony
Lionel Messi capped a fine 2015 by landing a record fifth World Player of the Year title during the 2015 Fifa Ballon d'Or ceremony in Zurich on Tuesday (Jan 12) morning (Singapore time).
The Argentine forward wrested the coveted trophy back from Cristiano Ronaldo after helping Barcelona to a treble last season.
His heroics earned him 41 per cent of the votes cast by national team captains, coaches, and journalists.
In his victory speech, Messi said: "It’s a very special moment to come back, to get a Ballon d’Or again after the two years in which Cristiano Ronaldo won each time.
"It is incredible that it’s my fifth. This Ballon d’Or means more than I could have ever dreamed of as a child."
Three-time winner Ronaldo, who has held the title for the last two years, came in second with 28 per cent of the vote while Messi's Barcelona teammate Neymar came in third with 8 per cent.
Here are some of the other highlights from the ceremony:
1) MESSI WINS: THE AFTERMATH
Messi's win might have been as predictable as night following day, but the Argentine magician's win prompted some quick-fire video responses from his club and sponsors.
Barca celebrated their superstar's triumph with a video montage that, while short, is sure to send plenty of feels down the spine of any Messi fan.
Messi's sponsors Adidas were also quick to deliver their own montage with the tagline: I'm here to create.
And if those videos weren't enough to make you a Messi fan, the sight of Messi's three-year-old son Thiago enthusiastically waving at his father while he was on stage to collect his trophy would almost certainly have melted your heart.
2) NEYMAR GLARES DAGGERS AT RONALDO
While both Ronaldo and Messi claim they have a mutual respect for another despite their intense personal and club rivalries, a photo showing the Real Madrid forward shaking the hand of his rival's girlfriend hand might tell a slightly different story.
As Ronaldo greeted Messi's partner, Neymar was captured in the frame with a less-than-friendly expression.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter latched on to Neymar's frown and made a joke of it.
3) THE TEARY WINNERS
Messi might have been as cool as a cucumber when he picked up his unprecedented Ballon d'Or, but winning was clearly an emotional moment for Messi's female counterpart Carli Lloyd and Puskas Award winner Wendell Lira.
Both players could not help but wipe away a solitary tear before delivering their victory speeches.
Lloyd, who scooped up the Women's World Player of the Year award, netted a hat-trick during the Women's World Cup final in July to fire the US national team to a 5-2 victory over Japan in Vancouver.
Lira's acrobatic overhead kick to cap some equally impressive approach play by his teammates from Goianesia during a Brazilian regional league game landed him the Puskas Award for goal of the year, beating Lloyd and Messi in the process.
4) PAUL POGBA'S FANCY SUIT
Messi might be known for his flair on the pitch, but it was one of the young pretenders to his throne that stole the headlines in terms of style.
Named as one of the members in the FIFPro World XI, French midfielder Paul Pogba certainly stood out from the pack with his flashy threads.
While the rest of his colleagues donned black blazers to receive their award, the Juventus man came dressed in a blazer adorned with a golden floral pattern to match his dyed hair and spectacle frames.
DRESSED TO IMPRESS: Alongside superstars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, French footballer Paul Pogba stood out out with his gold-print blazer amid a sea of black and white. PHOTO: AFP
Sources: Twitter, YouTube, 101GreatGoals