This is how he ranked his top five players in the 2019 calendar year. Lionel Messi came first, followed by Vigil van Dijk, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane and Raheem Sterling in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th positions respectively.

READ MORE: Lionel Messi wins 2019 Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi claimed his sixth Ballon d’Or on Monday in France to remain the highest recipient of the award since its inception in 1956.

The Ballon d’Or winner is decided after a round of voting from a jury consisting of reputed journalists from all around the world. A country can be represented by only a single journalist.

The juror ranks his top five players in the world that calendar year. The player ranked No. 1 receives six points, the No. 2 ranked player receives four points and the remaining three players receive three, two and one points respectively.

The total points received by each individual player based on the votes of each and every member of the jury are then added and the player with the most points is declared the winner.

The Ballon d'Or "Golden Ball") is an annual football award presented by France Football. It has been awarded since 1956, although between 2010 and 2015, an agreement was made with FIFA and the award was temporarily merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year, and known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or.

However, the partnership ended in 2016 and the award reverted to the Ballon d'Or, while FIFA also reverted to its own separate annual award (now named The Best FIFA Men's Player).