Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time
Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina has won the Ballon d’Or, which is given to the best footballer of the year, for the record seventh time.
Messi, 34, helped Argentina win the Copa America for the first time, and he has 40 goals in 2021, including 28 for Barcelona, four for PSG, and eight for Argentina.
Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich and Poland came in second, Jorginho of Chelsea and Italy came in third, and Karim Benzema of Real Madrid came in fourth.
The Ballon d’Or is voted on by 180 journalists from around the world, yet due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no award in 2020.
The competition between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for Ballon d’Or
From 2008 until 2019, the award was won by either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo (five times), with the exception of 2018, when it was won by Croatia midfielder Luka Modric.
Messi had already won the award more times than any other player, with victories in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and now 2019.
Lionel Messi shares his gratitude with the international media
On the occasion held at Paris’s Theatre du Chatelet he said, “It’s incredible to be here again.”
“Two years ago I thought it was the last time. People were starting to ask me when I was going to retire but now I’m here in Paris and very happy.
“It’s a special year for me with this Copa America title. It meant a lot to win [1-0 against Brazil in the final] at the Maracana stadium and I was so happy to celebrate with the people from Argentina.
“I don’t know if it’s the best year of my life – I’ve had a long career – but it was a special one with the title with Argentina after the tough times and the criticism.”
Lionel Messi appreciates Poland’s captain Robert Lewandowski
Messi also had kind comments for the runner-up, Poland captain Robert Lewandowski, 33. “I wanted to say to Robert that it was an honor to go up against him,” said Messi. “He deserved to win it last year.”
Lewandowski led Bayern Munich to 53 goals in all competitions in 2021, earning him the Striker of the Year title, which was only announced hours before the presentation.
Gianluigi Donnarumma of Paris St-Germain received the Yashin Trophy for an outstanding goalkeeper, while Chelsea was named Club of the Year after winning the Champions League.
Pedri, a 19-year-old Barcelona midfielder, won the Kopa Trophy for the finest player under the age of 21, with England internationals Jude Bellingham, Mason Greenwood, and Bukayo Saka finishing second, fifth, and sixth, respectively.
The Premier League presently has 14 of the 30 players nominated for the Ballon d’Or.
Chelsea had five players in the top 30, including third-placed Jorginho, fifth-placed N’Golo Kante, 12th-placed Romelu Lukaku, 19th-placed Mason Mount, and Cesar Azpilicueta, who tied for 29th.
Champions of the Premier League Kevin de Bruyne was seventh, Raheem Sterling 15th, Riyad Mahrez 20th, Phil Foden 25th, and Ruben Dias 26th for Manchester City.
Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United were sixth and tied for 21st, respectively, while Mohamed Salah of Liverpool was seventh and Tottenham’s Harry Kane was 23rd. The Premier League presently has 14 of the 30 players nominated for the Ballon d’Or.
Ballon d’Or results
- Lionel Messi (Paris St-Germain/Argentina, forward)
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland, forward)
- Jorginho (Chelsea/Italy, midfielder)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France, forward)
- N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/France, midfielder)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United/Portugal, forward)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt, forward)
- Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City/Belgium, midfielder)
- Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain/France, forward)
- Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris St-Germain/Italy, goalkeeper)
- Erling Braut Haaland (Borussia Dortmund/Norway, forward)
- Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea/Belgium, forward)
- Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus/Italy, defender)
- Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/Italy, defender)
- Raheem Sterling (Manchester City/England, forward)
- Neymar (Paris St-Germain/Brazil, forward)
- Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid/Uruguay, forward)
- Simon Kjaer (AC Milan/Denmark, defender)
- Mason Mount (Chelsea/England, midfielder)
- Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City/Algeria, forward)
- Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United/Portugal, midfielder), tied with Lautauro Martinez (Inter Milan/Argentina, forward)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham/England, forward)
- Pedri (Barcelona/Spain, midfielder)
- Phil Foden (Manchester City/England, forward)
- Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan/Italy, midfielder), tied with Ruben Dias (Manchester City/Portugal, defender) and Gerard Moreno (Villarreal/Spain, forward)
- Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia, midfielder), tied with Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea/Spain, defender)
Last but not the least, congratulations are in order for Lionel Messi!