It's time to celebrate Lionel Messi as the greatest footballer of all-time

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Lionel Messi collected his sixth Ballon d'Or on Monday night. 

He's now won the prize more times than anyone else in history, pulling ahead of eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Yet, the debate over which man should be regarded as the 'greatest of all-time' will continue to rumble on. 

In all honesty, though, it really shouldn't. Following Messi's sixth Ballon d'Or title, we're putting forward the case for him to be remembered as the G.O.A.T.  

Let's begin by looking at goals - because those no doubt helped him scoop football's top individual prize again this year.

A PROVEN GOALSCORER 

In 2019 alone, the Argentine has netted 47 times - only one man in Europe has scored more - Robert Lewandowski. 

But considering Messi was injured at the start of the 2019/20 season, it's incredible to see he's still right up there with Bayern Munich's in-form striker.

Don't be surprised to see Barcelona's captain finish the calendar year strong and overtake Lewandowski by December 31. 

Messi is a proven goalscorer

Looking back a little further, in terms of last season, Messi managed to produce one of his most fruitful yet.

He was the top-scorer in the 2018/19 Champions League and La Liga campaigns and unsurprisingly, won himself another European Golden Shoe in October.

He was simply untouchable. 

AN ASSIST MACHINE

Of course, it's not just all about goals. Messi is also a superb playmaker and it seems he almost enjoys assisting his teammates more than scoring himself these days. 

Messi is an assist king too

Just a week before he won the Ballon d'Or, the Argentine also scooped the 2019 Best Playmaker award. 

This year, he has 17 assists for club and country so far and some of those, of course, helped Barca win La Liga.

2019 is the fourth year Messi has won the award, proving that he's brilliantly adapted his game over the last few seasons and always provides exactly what his teammates need - whether that's goals or assists. 

A CABINET FULL OF TROPHIES

Even though Messi's individual stats alone are enough to put him in the G.O.A.T conversation, he's also had an incredible career that will see him finish as one of the most decorated players of all-time. 

Messi has also won so much silverware

Since making his Barca debut, the forward has won 34 major honours, including 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and six Spanish Cups. 

Some suggest that Messi is unproven outside of Spain, but that's frankly ridiculous. 

He would have won trophies wherever he was playing and his haul proves that. 

Messi has 34 major honours

The fact he's remained a one-club man should be respected, not ridiculed. 

A CONSISTENT PERFORMER 

Messi has won his sixth Ballon d'Or at 32 years old. He's been at the top of the game for over a decade now and even players 10 years younger can't compete with his incredible stats. 

What's even scarier, is that he doesn't look like slowing down anytime soon.

He's scored over 40 goals in all competitions every year since 2015 and in his last campaign, managed a ridiculous 51. 

Messi had one of his most fruitful seasons in 2018/19

Slowing down? No chance, it seems like Messi is speeding up. With 11 goals already this season, he'll be on course to break the 40 barrier again come May. 

Of course, Ronaldo boasts impressive stats of his own that should not be disregarded.

But after Messi has won his SIXTH Ballon d'Or, 2019 belongs to him and until CR7 scoops the prize again, the G.O.A.T crown sits firmly on the Argentine's head.

Messi now has six Ballon d'Or titles

Congratulations once again, Lionel!

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