Messi, who led Argentina the Copa America success in Brazil in July for their first major trophy since 1993, spent the majority of 2020 at Barcelona before his 21-year stay at the club ended when he left on a free in August and joined PSG soon after.
He now has two more Ballon d’Or awards than Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo, whose tally of five is two more than anyone else.
Messi beat 29 other nominees for the award, including Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, who was the favourite for last year’s prize before it was cancelled due to the lack of football during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lewandowski was nominated for the award again this year after he broke late Bayern legend Gerd Muller’s single-season Bundesliga goal record in May after he netted 41 league times last season, as well as winning the European Golden Shoe.
Although Lewandowski didn’t win the night’s biggest prize, he was named striker of the year at the ceremony and finished second to Messi on the final ballot.