The Argentina superstar has been crowned the best player on the planet for the seventh time, with Robert Lewandowski coming in second. Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time, with mercurial Argentina collecting the seventh Golden Ball of his amazing career.
The most recent of those renowned awards was presented on Monday at a glamorous ceremony in Paris, with the PSG superstar not having to go far after parting ways with La Liga giants Barcelona in the summer.
After being named the best player on the planet for 2021, Messi is now two victories ahead of long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who is now at Manchester United, where he has finished outside the top three for the first time since 2010.
Why did Messi win the Ballon d’Or?
After another fantastic year with the club and country, Messi topped the chart.
He helped Barcelona win the Copa del Rey in April, then went on to win his first senior trophy with Argentina in the Copa America in 2021, where he was also named Player of the Tournament.
Shortly after that triumph, the football world was horrified to learn that Barcelona couldn’t afford to sign a talismanic figure to a new contract, and Messi’s long affiliation with the Catalan giants came to an end when he moved to France.
He’s finding the going a little tougher at PSG, although he had three assists in his most recent match against Saint-Etienne and has four goals in 11 outings.
Who just missed out?
While Messi surged to the top of the Ballon d’Or poll for the second year in a row, there were several other strong contenders for the ultimate individual prize.
Robert Lewandowski, at 33 years old, has continued his prolific form for Bayern Munich, scoring 25 goals in 20 appearances this season, although he had to settle for second place.
The Polish striker had been tipped to win the Golden Ball in 2020, but France Football decided not to do so last year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Jorginho, the Chelsea midfielder who won the Champions League with his club and Euro 2020 with Italy, was widely expected to fight for first place, but he ended up with a bronze medal.