At 34, perhaps Messi was principally rewarded for his enduring brilliance by jurors as he won the prize ahead of much-fancied rivals including Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema.
However, he still scored 38 goals in his final campaign with Barcelona, was top scorer in La Liga, won the Copa del Rey and captained Argentina to victory at the Copa America.
As he collected his prize in a ceremony in the French capital on Monday, PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi was there and spoke of his “immense pride that one of our players has won the most prestigious and coveted award”.
On Wednesday, as PSG played host to Nice, the message “Paris Golden City”, in English, covered the main entrance to the Parc des Princes. Inside Messi was paraded before kick-off on a stage on the pitch as he showed off his reward.
Yet he proceeded to produce another rather flat performance as his side was held to a 0-0 draw, and Messi has still scored just once in eight appearances in Ligue 1.
He has saved his best moments so far in a PSG shirt for the Champions League, with three goals in four games in Europe.