The Real Madrid midfielder, Luca Modric who won the prize last year accepted the invitation from France Football, the organizers of the award, to pass over the prestigious trophy to the Barcelona forward.

Putting club differences aside, Modric recognizes the Argentine as his worthy successor and demonstrated his class with his presence in Paris for the ceremony.

Modric scooped all the major individual awards last year, starting with the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year prize, followed by ‘The Best’ courtesy of FIFA and ending with the Ballon d’Or.

“I would like to thank all the journalist that have voted for me and wanted me to have this award prize,” Messi said.

“Thanks to my colleagues. They have contributed a lot to this prize. It’s really amazing,” he added after sitting with co-host, Didier Drogba to watch a few performance.

Virgil Van Dijk was second trailed by Cristiano Ronaldo whiles Sadio Mane was fourth in the top 10 players of the Ballon d’OR.