Soon after he clinched his record sixth Ballon d'Or award, Lionel Messi broke his fans' hearts as he said, "retirement is approaching, time flies."

Messi defeated Liverpool FC defender Virgil van Dijk and arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award Monday night in Paris. The last time he won the prestigious award, which is presented by France Football, was back in 2015.

Messi was honored with the award after he netted as many as 54 times for FC Barcelona, who also won the La Liga, and Argentina during the 2018-19 season.

The Argentine, who spoke to media at the award ceremony in Paris, said although his end is nearing, he hopes to enjoy "many more years" at the top and also mentioned that Barca has nothing to worry regarding his future.

Lionel Messi happily collected his sixth  Ballon d'Or in Paris on Monday
Lionel Messi happily collected his sixth Ballon d'Or in Paris on Monday AFP / FRANCK FIFE

"I'm aware of how old I am. And I enjoy these moments so much because I know that retirement is approaching. Time flies. I hope, God willing, that I keep playing for many more years," the 32-year-old Little Master added.

"I'm now 32, though, and will be 33 at the end of the season, so, as I said, everything depends on how I feel physically. Right now I feel better than ever on a physical and a personal level, and I hope I can go on for a lot longer," Messi told the media in Paris.

While Messi has signed a contract till the end of the 2020-21 season, a clause in that could see him leave the Catalans at the end of the current season. According to the clause, he can choose to leave Barca at the end of any season after his 32nd birthday, which was in June.

However, Messi has time and again assured that his club has nothing to worry and his recent statement would have given a new assurance to the La Liga champions.

"Barca know me and know there's no type of problem with these issues. [My commitment] goes beyond a contract. What I feel for this club is [worth] more than any signature on a piece of paper, so there's no issue," Messi, who has scored 600-plus goals for Barca, added.