December 1st, 2009 is a date that Lionel Messi will remember forever.
He's had so many special moments throughout a stunning career and a decade ago the Argentine, who was 22 at the time, won his first Ballon d'Or.
There was little debate over his win that year, considering Messi had inspired Barcelona to a treble in the 2008/09 season.
He was absolutely outstanding as the Blaugrana won the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
The Barca forward scored 38 goals in all competitions during that campaign and continued his fine form as 2009 drew to a close.
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What makes Messi's first Ballon d'Or win even more significant, is he won it by a then-record margin of 240 points. In second place was - you guessed it - Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Honestly, I knew that I was among the favourites because Barcelona had a fruitful year in 2009," Messi said after winning the award 10 years ago.
"But I didn't expect to win with such a margin. The Ballon d'Or is very important to me. All the players who won it were great players, and some great players never won it.
"For me it's a big honour to win. I dedicate it to my family, they were always present when I needed them and sometimes felt even stronger emotions than me."
Little did he know that four more Ballon d'Or wins and a decade of greatness would follow.
Messi scooped football's top individual prize again in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
On Monday, he's looking to make it a record six wins. The Argentine is up against Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk for the Ballon d'Or this year.
After another brilliant year which has seen Messi score a ridiculous 46 goals, he's the heavy favourite and history could well repeat itself 10 years after the Argentine won his first Ballon d'Or.News Now - Sport News