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Soccer legend Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or, the football’s most prestigious award, for a record-stretching seventh time, which puts him two clear ahead of his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo in all-time standings.

The award reaffirms the fact that Messi is unquestionably the king of modern era’s football. Perhaps what separates Messi from other greats is that he has an inherent advantage over every other player, thanks to his superior technical ability, whichgives him an immediate edge because he can manipulate the ball in ways that others simply cannot.

For the Argentine super star, life turned a full circle at a very young age of 13 when he was offered the chance to train at FC Barcelona’s youth academy, La Masia. Had not Messi grabbed that opportunity gleefully with both hands, today we would not be witnessing the world’s greatest footballer in the modern era, whose name and fame have reached dizzying heights. 

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