Messi, who replaced last year's victor Luka Modric, can look back at a brilliant individual calendar year after claiming his six European Golden Shoe for his 36 goals in LaLiga last season.
It appears unusual to believe Messi stands a chance of finishing a four-year Ballon d'Or drought, and having neglected to finish one of the top three at 2018 and placing second in consecutive decades before that.
Earlier, when Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was asked about the Messi-Van Dijk situation, the German had backed his defender.
The Argentine was named victor of the 2019 Golden Ball, claiming his sixth Ballon d'Or after previously lifting the prestigious individual trophy in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
When asked if he thinks he could beat Messi, the Dutchman said, "It is just something to be proud of because not a lot of players go there and are up for these kinds of things".
This is Messi's second major individual prize this year after he was named "The Best FIFA Men's Player" again beating Van Dijk for that honour. According to the image, revealed by an anonymous source Tuesday, Messi was the victor ahead of Van Dijk. Michael Hincks was at the Wanda Metropolitano to watch the Argentine produce the goods once more on the eve of the Ballon d'Or announcement.
The Liverpool centre-back was among seven team-mates nominated, along with goalkeeper Alisson Becker, defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and forwards Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. If you give it to the best player of last season then it was Virgil van Dijk.
Last year's victor Luka Modric was brought on stage by emcee Didier Drogba to give his Barcelona rival the award - a nice gesture given that Messi wasn't in attendance to see the Croatian pick up the award in 2018. Messi was again at the forefront as he bagged a 52-goal haul during the calendar year, as well as 26 assists, in 61 games for club and country.