Lionel Messi has added another award to his glittering collection after being handed the ‘Creu de Sant Jordi’ for 2019.

The Argentina forward has followed in the footsteps of Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff by picking up the award which recognises individuals and institutions who have served Catalonia and the protection of the region’s identity.   

The award, which was created in 1981, is the second-highest civil distinction handed out by the Catalan regional government and is annually awarded to multiple recipients. 

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been awarded with the 'Creu de Sant Jordi' for 2019

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been awarded with the ‘Creu de Sant Jordi’ for 2019

Messi has scooped the prize after another sterling campaign with Barcelona which has seen him fire Ernersto Valverde’s side to the cusp of a domestic double.

The 31-year-old, who joined Barcelona at the tender age of 13 and flew through the ranks to become one of their greatest ever players, is being touted as a shoo-in to win the Ballon d’Or despite his failure to win the Champions League this season.

Messi had made it his prime goal to reign supreme in Europe with Barcelona once again but an astonishing collapse at Anfield earlier this month saw them eliminated at the semi-final stage.

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