Messi held off the challenge of Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho to win the men’s Ballon d’Or at a Paris ceremony
Lionel Messi has won the men’s 2021 Ballon d'Or, and a record seventh trophy, at an awards ceremony in Paris on Monday evening.
Messi, 34, held off the challenge of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Chelsea’s Jorginho to collect the prize and move two clear in his long-running battle with five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who was among the 30 players shortlisted but did not feature in the top three for the first time in 11 jare.
Messi was the favourite to collect the award after winning the Copa America with Argentina earlier this year – his first major international trophy – despite one of his less impressive periods at club level: Barcelona het derde in La Liga geëindig en in die eerste uitklopronde van die Champions League geval. Egter, Messi het twee doele aangeteken toe Barca die Copa del Rey-eindstryd gewen het en hy was weer La Liga se topdoelskieter, voordat jy in die somer na Paris Saint-Germain oorskakel.
Lewandowski did pick up the consolation prize of the newly formed Striker of the Year award, terwyl die Women’s Ballon d’Or went to Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas.
Further awards went to Gianluigi Donnarumma for the Yashin Trophy of best goalkeeper, to Barcelona midfielder Pedri as the starlet was handed the Kopa Trophy and another new award went to Chelsea for Club of the Year for their on-pitch achievements with both men’s and women’s teams.
Lewandowski can feel hard done by after another stellar year of goalscoring for Bayern Munich saw them retain the Bundesliga title. He scored a record 41 Bundesliga goals in the 2020-21 season and is leading the charts again this season with 14 goals from 13 speletjies, but perhaps suffered at the ballot box from not enjoying more success with his country, Pole, in a year of major international tournaments. The 33-year-old was expected to win his first Ballon d’Or last year but the award was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Jorginho, 29, might also feel he could not have done much more given he won the Champions League with Chelsea and two months later won the European Championship with Italy, playing a key role at the heart of midfield in both sides.
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