The Barcelona and Argentina forward finished ahead of Ronaldo and Brazil forward Neymar as he scooped the award for the fifth time overall, having previously won it four years in a row from 2009 to 2012.
Messi helped Barcelona to a Spanish league, domestic cup and Champions League treble plus the Club World Cup and also led Argentina to the Copa America final, where they lost to Germany.
“It’s incredible, much more than anything I dreamed of as a kid,” said Messi as he received the award.
“I want to thank my team-mates, without them none of this would have been possible.”
Barcelona’s Luis Enrique was voted coach of the year.
United States World Cup winner Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the final against Japan, was named women’s player of the year.
Ronaldo ended last season trophyless with Real Madrid, although he helped Portugal qualify for Euro 2016.
Neymar won a treble alongside Messi at Barcelona but had a less happy time with Brazil, receiving a four-match international ban after he