1 of 2Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP
After being canceled due to the coronavirus last year, the Ballon d’Or was handed over again on Monday night. For the seventh time, Lionel Messi (34) escaped with the generous prize.
Messi, ahead of Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho, won the award as football journalists around the world vote for the winner.
Messi had a total of 613 points in the poll, while Lewandowski followed him with 580 points. Jorginho scored a total of 460 points. This is the second smallest margin of victory for Messi at the Ballon d’Or, with the 2019 award as the most win to date. Then Messi got 686 points, while Virgil van Dijk got 679 points.
– Seventh… It’s very unusual. It’s amazing, Messi said after receiving the Ballon d’Or from Luis Suarez.
The Argentine also won the Ballon d’Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019.
In 2021, he was part of the Barcelona team that won the Spanish Cup and the Argentine team that won the Copa America.
I would like to thank all my teammates from Barcelona and everyone in the Argentina national team. After fighting for so many years, it was a dream to win the America’s Cup, says Messi.
Who do you think should win the Ballon d’Or?
Messi left Barcelona this summer, almost 18 years after his debut with the club’s first team, signing with Paris Saint-Germain.
After the speech, a video was posted where Messi was able to see a video of greetings from Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero among others. The Argentine obviously looked moved and had to wipe a tear, before Suarez himself went up on stage and handed the trophy to Messi.
Messi has finished in the top three selection in 13 of the last 14 awards, with 2018 being selected as the only time he has finished outside the top three. Then the Argentine became number five.
No prize has been awarded in 2020, but Messi was clear on Monday about who he should receive.
– I would like to mention Robert Lewandowski. It was an honor to compete with you. Everyone knows and we agree that you were the winner last year. I think France Football should give you the Ballon d’Or in 2020. You deserve it and you should have it at home, says Messi.
All of Messi’s second five places came this year as Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or. They are the two players with the most wins in Ballon d’Or history, winning seven and five times in a row. Shortly before Messi received the award, Ronaldo posted a long post on Instagram, where he is The editor-in-chief of France Football – the magazine behind the Ballon d’Or – has been accused of lying.
The Women’s Golden Ball has only been awarded twice before. Ada Stolsmo Hegerberg won the award when it was first awarded in 2018, and is thus Norway’s best result at the Ballon d’Or. No Norwegian women have been nominated for the award this year, which was won by Alexia Putilas.
The 27-year-old Spaniard plays alongside Caroline Graham Hansen in Barcelona, who last season won the Cup and Series in Spain, as well as winning the Champions League.
Butillas won ahead of teammate Jennifer Hermoso and Chelsea star Sam Kerr.
Earlier in the evening, it became clear that Erling Braut Haaland was 11th in the selection, the best result for a Norwegian men’s player in the Ballon d’Or.
Haaland is the first Norwegian men’s player to be nominated for the award since Bent Skamelsrud in 1997. Skamelsrud was at the time 33rd, while Ron Bratseth finished 20th and 15th respectively in 1992 and 1993.
A number of other prizes were also handed out on Monday night.
Pedri made a big splash last season and won the Copa Cup as the best under-21 player, ahead of Judd Bellingham and Jamal Musila.
Robert Lewandowski was named Player of the Year, while Gianluigi Donnarumma was awarded the Gasgen Cup as Goalkeeper of the Year.
Denmark captain Simon Kejer has been praised for the way he handled the situation when Christian Eriksen fell during the European Championship match against Finland.
Chelsea was named Club of the Year.
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