Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Messi has made his name in the football history books once again after becoming the first player to win seven Ballon d’Ors, beating Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho and many others for the award. Had an eventful year in which he led his country to victory in the 2021 Copa America tournament – for which he was named top scorer, best assist and best player – for their first major title since 1993, while he also helped former club FC Barcelona win their 31st Copa del Rey title in April.
“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 after receiving the award from his good friend Luis Suarez.
Of the man who came second, Lewandowski, Messi said: “I’d like to mention Robert, it’s been a real honour to compete with him. I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or, you deserved it.”
Chelsea feature heavily in the award and claim two places in the top five thanks to midfield duo N`Golo Kante (5th) and Jorginho (3rd). Another Blues duo in the top 20 is Romelu Lukaku in 12th, just one place behind Erling Haaland and Mason Mount in 19th.
Africa’s highest ranked representatives are Egypt and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah, who finished in seventh place, while eternal contender Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United could only claim sixth this time around, falling outside the top five for the first time in 11 years.
There were also two new awards on the night, namely the Striker of the Year prize, which went to Bayern Munich and Poland star Lewandowski, and the Club of the Year accolade, which was claimed by European champions Chelsea.
The other award winners on the night were Spain and FC Barcelona Femenina star Alexia Putellas, who won the Women’s Ballon d’Or, young Barcelona and Spain star Pedri, who won the Kopa trophy for the best player under the age of 21, and Paris Saint-Germain and Italy shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was named the best goalkeeper of the year.
Men’s Ballon d’Or top 10
1. Lionel Messi (ARG/PSG)
2. Robert Lewandowski (POL/Bayern Munich)
3. Jorginho (ITA/Chelsea)
4. Karim Benzema (FRA/Real Madrid)
5. N’Golo Kante (FRA/Chelsea)
6. Cristiano Ronaldo (POR/Juventus – Manchester United)
7. Mohamed Salah (EGY/Liverpool)
8. Kevin De Bruyne (BEL/Manchester City)
9. Kylian Mbappe (FRA/Paris SG)
10. Gianluigi Donnarumma (ITA/AC Milan – Paris SG)
Women’s Ballon d’Or top 10
1. Alexia Putellas (ESP/Barcelona)
2. Jennifer Hermoso (ESP/Barcelona)
3. Sam Kerr (AUS/Chelsea)
4. Vivianne Miedema (NED/Arsenal)
5. Lieke Martens(NED/Barcelona)
6. Christine Sinclair (CAN/Portland Storms)
7. Pernille Harder (DAN/Chelsea)
8. Ashley Lawrence (CAN/Paris SG)
9. Jessie Fleming (CAN/Chelsea)
10. Fran Kirby (ENG/Chelsea)
Kopa Trophy top 3 (young players)
1. Pedri (ESP/Barcelona)
2. Jude Bellingham (ENG/Borussia Dortmund)
3. Jamal Musiala (GER/Bayern Munich)
Yashin Trophy top 3 (goalkeepers)
1. Gianluigi Donnarumma (ITA/AC Milan – Paris SG)
2. Edouard Mendy (SEN/Chelsea)
3. Jan Oblak (SLO/Atletico Madrid)