Lionel Messi's father fetes son's fifth Ballon d'Or win via open letter
Lionel Messi's father, Jorge Messi, expressed his pride for his son's fifth Ballon d'Or win via letter.
In his letter to the Barcelona star, published by Spanish daily Marca, Messi Senior wrote: "Our family is so proud of him because everything he has accomplished he has done so through hard work."
Messi, who helped Barca win La Liga, the Copa del Rey and Champions League in 2015, plus the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, was also the Ballon d'Or winner in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. This year he received 41.33 percent of votes, the third highest percentage in history.
"The day that we left Argentina with a suitcase full of dreams and illusions but also fears, Lionel seemed to enjoy that journey. Surely, he was only focused on arriving in Barcelona and staying there. But I also imagine that in his mind he was formulating the idea of triumph at what he most loved: Football.
"Today he is where we never thought he could arrive, a magical place to which he started to reach in 2007 and year over year until the 'world of football' had decided to give him recognition five times as the best player on the planet.
"Our family is so proud of him because everything he has accomplished he has done so through hard work, leaving behind things of great value. Lionel's spirit and his will to succeed, like his desire to improve with each day, create an enthusiasm of enormous courage for all of us who are around him."
Messi himself thanked his fans via a letter on his Facebook page, saying "On a day like today, I'd like to say thanks to football, the sport I fell in love when I was a kid and I'm still blindly in love with it....Thanks to football and to all the people around me, who support me every single day: my family, friends, teammates and fans... Achieving these individual awards just wouldn't be possible without all this collective work."