Lionel Messi has won an historic seventh Ballon d’Or after picking up the prestigious individual award at a ceremony in Paris.
The 34-year-old has now won the Ballon d’Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021, meaning he has lifted the prize handed to the best player in world football more times than any other male player in its history, two clear of Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi beat out Robert Lewandowski who finished in second place and Chelsea midfielder Jorghino who was ranked third in the voting. Messi said in a statement to Lewandowski, “I don’t know how many years I have left, but I hope there will still be many because I am having enormous fun,” Messi said at the France Football ceremony where he picked up his seventh Ballon d’Or before praising Lewandowski, who was the favourite to win the 2020 Ballon d’Or until it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “You deserve your Ballon d’Or,” the Argentine added. “Last year, everyone was in agreement to say that you were the big winner. Barcelona Femini star Alexia Putellas won the Women’s Ballon d’Or.
Italy and PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has won the 2021 Yashin Trophy, edging out Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy who had been tipped as favorite for the award.
Donnarumma won the Best Player award at Euro 2020 and made the switch from AC Milan to the French capital in the summer.
There will be no sixth Ballon d’Or for Cristiano Ronaldo this with the Portuguese forward finishing sixth in the ranking, falling below a lot of people’s expectations. Bayern Munich and Poland striker Lewandowski did not go home empty handed as he won the Striker of the Year award.
He enjoyed an excellent 2021, breaking Gerd Muller’s long-standing record for the most Bundesliga goals in a single season.
Other awards of the night also include the Kopa trophy handed to the best male player age 21 or under which was won by Pedri. It’s certainly true that the teenager had an incredible year for Barcelona and Spain, Bukayo Saka came sixth in the voting with Mason Greenwood fifth and Jude Bellingham in second place.