The Paris Saint-Germain striker received the prize for a seventh time, a record, during the ceremony which took place last night in the French capital.
Messi has enjoyed a successful year internationally after winning the Copa America with Argentina, his first major trophy with his national team.
Salah, however, finished seventh behind Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho, Karim Benzema, N’golo Kante and Cristiano Ronaldo.
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Messi conceded that he was not sure his seven Ballon d’Or wins would ever be beaten, but the likes of Salah and Lewandowski will have their time.
“I don’t know if the record is beatable,” he said after receiving the award.
“I just have to accept it but I’m not sure it can be beaten.
“Salah will have opportunities in the years to come. The two players [Salah and Lewandowski] are at their best right now and will have more chances of winning. “
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As the Reds battle it out for the Premier League title and the Champions League this season, Salah hopes to be a serious contender next year, especially if he wins an Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt in the new Year.
Messi also sent a stylish message to runner-up Lewandowski, who was the frontrunner to win last year’s award before it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I would like to mention Robert, it was a real honor to compete with him,” added the Argentina international.
“I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or, you deserve it. “