Known as the Golden Ball in French, the Ballon d’Or is the considered to be the Oscar or Grammy of the professional soccer world. The award is voted on by the FIFA community and is awarded to the player that deserves it most according to his peers, whether due to teamwork, sportsmanship, or skill. This year, like other years previous, the award went to one of the greatest soccer players the world has ever known, Lionel Messi. Since he began playing soccer, Messi has shown himself to be amongst the best and this is just another example of that skill and drive.

The voting for the Ballon d’Or is done in a relatively democratic fashion. The democratic vote is done by every national team’s head coach, the captain for each national team, and one accredited journalist from each country participating in FIFA’s international events. While this has sometimes led to confusion, there was none this year — Messi came away with 41% of the total votes, a clear win for the player. There is also no denying that Messi deserves the award, even though the competition was fierce and deserving as well.

As the years have gone, Messi has become more and more of a superstar in the soccer world, both on and off the field. While he is known for his scoring and controlling his team with an iron fist (it’s Messi’s way or the highway, apparently), no one should think that he isn’t a team player. He has made an effort to raise both himself and those playing with him to the next level, providing leadership and experience where it’s needed. The winning of the Ballon d’Or isn’t just a testament to Messi’s skills as a player, but also as a testament to the importance he has had to his teammates and the sport as a whole.

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