Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi on Monday became the first footballer to win six Ballon d’Ors. The 32-year-old received the honour ahead of Liverpool’s talisman Virgil van Dijk, who stood second while Cristiano Ronaldo rounded off the podium.

There were arguments ahead of the event regarding who amongst Messi and van Dijk, who won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, is more worthy but having scored 51 goals in 50 appearances for Barcelona last season, Messi edged ahead.

"I hope to continue for a long time," Messi said in Paris.

"I realize that I am very lucky, even if, one day, retirement will come. It will be difficult. But I still have a lot of good years ahead of me. Time goes by very quickly, so I want to enjoy football and my family.

"A few years ago, I received my first Ballon d'Or here in Paris," Messi said. "I was 22 years old. It was something unthinkable at the time. Today is my sixth Ballon d'Or. As my wife used to say, you should never stop dreaming but always work to improve and continue to enjoy yourself."

Read | How is the winner of Ballon d’Or decided?

Those on Twitter, meanwhile, still haven’t processed as to how Messi deserved the award ahead of van Dijk, who was instrumental in Liverpool’s Champions League triumph last season. The Netherlands international led his team from the front and while the likes of Mohamed Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino grabbed most of the headlines, he did his job to mere perfection.

For the player himself though, he expressed nothing respect for his rivals.

"It was an amazing year, but there's a couple of players like that who are a bit unnatural," said Van Dijk of Messi and Ronaldo. "So you need to respect greatness as well. I was close, but there was just someone a little bit better."

The reaction on the internet, however, doesn’t seem to have settled the debate and this is how they are reacting to it:

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Franck Fife