Lionel Messi wins the 2019 Best Playmaker award

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If reports in Spain are to be believed, Lionel Messi will pick up his sixth Ballon d’Or next week.

If that’s the case, Messi will become the most decorated player in Ballon d’Or history and go a long way to confirming what many people believe - that he’s the greatest of all-time.

But before the Argentine gets his hands on the biggest individual prize in football, the Barca legend won another award on Thursday afternoon.

IFFHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics) have named Messi as the world’s best playmaker in 2019.

It is Messi’s fourth win of this award after wins in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

He joins Xavi having won four Playmaker Awards, with Andres Iniesta (2), Zinedine Zidane, Luka Modric, Kaka and Toni Kross having won the accolade.

Check out the top 20:

1 | Lionel Messi

Not a bad 2019 for Messi, who has registered 17 assists for club and country so far. Those assists helped Barcelona win La Liga.

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2 | Kevin de Bruyne

De Bruyne is on course to smash the Premier League assists record having already registered nine. His passing range is just ridiculous.

3 | Eden Hazard

Hazard may have made a slow start to life at Real Madrid but the Belgian is still one of the best players in the world.

4 | Roberto Firmino

Firmino is crucial to this Liverpool system and he allows the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to flourish with his movement and passing ability.

5 | Bernardo Silva

Manchester City won’t miss David Silva too much when he leaves next summer because of Bernardo. The Portuguese is a joy to watch and creates chances for fun.

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6 | Dusan Tadic

Do you think Tadic is happy that he swapped relegation-threatened Southampton with Champions League semi-finalists Ajax? We do.

He was sensational during their run to the last four of Europe’s elite competition.

7 | Frenkie de Jong

The same goes for De Jong, who was crucial in midfield for Ajax as they reached the semis. His performance earned him a big-money move to Barcelona.

8 | Christian Eriksen

The Dane’s contract at Spurs expires at the end of the season and it remains to be seen where his future lies.

But he helped his side reach the Champions League final last campaign.

9 | Antoine Griezmann

It wasn’t the greatest 2019 for Atletico Madrid but Griezmann still earned a €100 million move to Barcelona.

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10 | Georginio Wijnaldum

One of Liverpool’s most underrated players. Wijnaldum scored twice in the Champions League semi-final win against Barcelona, helping the club lift their sixth European Cup.

11 | Luka Modric

No trophies for Real Madrid as the midfielder struggled to emulate his incredible 2018.

12 | Miralem Pjanic

Pjanic registered seven assists as Juventus won yet another Serie A title.

13 | Mohamed Salah

Salah couldn’t quite replicate his incredible debut season at Liverpool but he won another Golden Boot as the Reds picked up 97 points and won the Champions League.

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14 | Riyad Mahrez

Mahrez found first-team opportunities hard to come by last season but is proving to be an important member of Pep Guardiola’s side this campaign.

=14 | Paul Pogba

Not a great 2019 for Pogba with injuries and poor form hampering him. He’s only made five appearances this season, though.

16 | Hakim Ziyech

2019 was a massive year for Ziyech as he produced some incredible performance for Ajax in the Champions League.

17 | Thiago Alcantara

The one that got away from Barcelona? Thiago’s passing percentages are a joke - he hardly ever gives the ball away!

He helped Bayern stroll to Bundesliga glory in 2019.

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18 | Ismael Bennacer

The 21-year-old Algerian is a real star for the future. He played in 37 of Empoli’s 38 games last season and is now starring for AC Milan.

19 | Ignacio Fernandez

The midfielder has spent his entire career in Argentina and helped River Plate reach the recent Copa Libertadores, as they lost to Flamengo.

=19 | Lorenzo Insigne

Insigne is a Napoli legend and helped them finish second last season. The way he drops into the space behind the striker makes him extremely difficult to mark.

=19 | Sunil Chhetri

The 35-year-old plays for Indian side, Bengaluru and helped them win the Super League in 2019 with some inspired performances.

Chhetri has been capped 115 times for India.

=19 | Pablo Sarabia

Sarabia performed wonders for Sevilla last season - a campaign that earned him a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

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So, it’s yet another award for Messi as he claims the 2019 Playmaker of the Year.

Interestingly, there’s no Cristiano Ronaldo in the list.

While the Portuguese superstar rivals Messi in terms of goalscoring, his assist record and his ability to create chances doesn’t quite live up to that of his great rival.

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