Argentina football captain Lionel Messi on Monday (November 29) won the 2021 Ballon d’Or, adding the seventh golden ball to his account. The 34-year-old, who is also the star player of Paris St-Germain football club, has won Ballon d’Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021.
The official Twitter account of Ballon d’Or #ballondor tweeted, “HERE IS THE WINNER! SEVEN BALLON D`OR FOR LIONEL MESSI! #ballondor.”
HERE IS THE WINNER!
— Ballon d'Or #ballondor (@francefootball) November 29, 2021
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski ranked second and Chelsea’s Jorginho stood third as runners up to the Ballon d’Or.
“Congratulations Leo Messi and @alexiaputellas winners of the #BallonDor2021, congratulations also to all nominated players! I won Striker of the Year Award and no player can win an individual award without strongest team and loyal fans behind him. Thank you for your support," tweeted Lewandowski.
Meanwhile, Gianluigi Donnarumma of PSG also took home the Yashin Trophy for goalkeeper of the year, and Pedri Gonzalez of Barcelona won the Kopa Trophy for the best young player. Alexia Putellas of Barcelona won the women’s Ballon d’Or.
The Ballon d’Or ceremony crowned mainstream footballers at the Theatre du Chatelet, in Paris. “I’m very happy to be here, happy to keep fighting for new trophies,” he said through a translator. “I don’t know how many years I have left, but I hope many more. I'd like to thank all my (former) teammates at Barcelona and Argentina.”
Messi finished with 613 points to top prolific Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski on 580. “I would like to say to Robert that it’s an honor to be your rival, and everyone would say you deserved to win it last year,” Messi said.
Awarded by France Football magazine, the Ballon d’Or has been given out to men every year since 1956 when Stanley Matthews won.
(with agency inputs)