Lionel Messi claimed a seventh Ballon d’Or award at the 2021 ceremony, warding off competition from Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho and Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the prestigious award.
Messi came into the ceremony as a favourite for the award after a brilliant individual year for club and Country. As Barcelona captain, Messi scored 38 goals to lead the side to the Copa del Rey title, winning the Pichichi award for the league’s highest goalscorer.
Messi also led the Argentina national team to the Copa America title, their first title since 1993. The diminutive forward scored and assisted the most goals, and was named as the best player in the tournament.
Messi’s seventh Ballon d’Or award takes him two above his nearest competitor Cristiano Ronaldo on the all-time list of winners of the prestigious award. Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski finished in second place, with Chelsea’s Jorginho completing the top three.
PSG’s 22-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma received the Yashin Trophy for the Goalkeeper of the Year, beating Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy to the award.
Pedri was named as the U21 Player of the Year, with the teenager going home with the Kopa Trophy. Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala finished in second and third place, respectively.
Chelsea’s all-round success in 2021 saw them named as the Club of the Year in a newly-introduced category. Chelsea became the first side to have both the men’s and women’s teams in the final of the Champions League at the same time in 2021.
Lewandowski won the award for the Striker of the Year after netting a truckload of goals for Bayern Munich and Poland. After his Ballon d’Or snub, Messi acknowledged that everyone agreed that Lewandowski deserved to win the Ballon d’Or award for 2020.
“Lewy, you deserve your Ballon d’Or. Last year, everyone was in agreement in saying you were the big winner.”
From the women, Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas won the Ballon d’Or after a treble-winning campaign with the Spanish side. The midfielder captained the Catalan side to a first-ever UWCL title in 2021.
Here is the top ten ranking for the men’s Ballon d’Or award;
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona/PSG and Argentina)
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland)
- Jorginho (Chelsea and Italy)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid and France)
- N’Golo Kante (Chelsea and France)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Manchester United and Portugal)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)
- Kylian Mbappe (PSG and France)
- Gianluigi Donnarumma. (AC Milan/PSG and Italy)