Argentina and Paris Saint Germaine forward Lionel Messi is the 2021 Ballon d’Or winner.
Messi was awarded the prestigious award, his record seventh, at a Monday’s colourful ceremony held in Paris on Monday. He saw off a strong challenge from Polish and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, Chelsea’s pair Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, and his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo who finished sixth. It is the first time in 11 years that Ronaldo has been named outside the top three.
Despite finishing third in La Liga and falling in the first round of the Champions League, Messi was the favorite to win the award after winning the Copa America with Argentina earlier this year – his first major international trophy, according to Vwin99. Messi scored a brace in Barca’s Copa del Rey final victory and was La Liga’s top goalscorer once again before his surprise move to Paris Saint-Germain in the French Ligue 1 in the summer. You can follow and bet on the French Ligue 1 and the Euro Champions League with Vwin99. Vwin is your number one Asian betting site, bringing you events from all top leagues around the globe.
“It’s incredible to be here again. Two years ago I thought it was the last time. Winning the Copa America was key”, Messi told the congregants at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.
Messi, who joined PSG last summer from Barcelona scored 613 points, while Lewandowski scored 580.
European Champions League and Euro 2020 winner Jorginho finished third with 460 points,
The newly formed Striker of the Year award deservedly went to Lewandowski, who continues to score goals for fun in the Bundesliga and the European Champions League, while the Women’s Ballon d’Or went to Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas.
PSG and Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma won the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper. The Italy No. 1 was crowned Player of the Tournament in Euro 2020 after standing tall in goal for the victorious Azuris. He was at the top of his game as Italy beat Belgium and eventually England in the tournament’s finals.
Donnarumma, 22, beat Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy, who has been superb in goal for the Blues under Thomas Tuchel. He starred as they won the Champions League last season and is enjoying life in the Premier League, with Chelsea leading Manchester City and Liverpool, conceding just five goals so far this season.
Barcelona midfielder Pedri took home the Kopa Trophy, with Chelsea winning the Club of the Year award for their on-field performances for both men’s and women’s teams.
The Kopa Trophy is designed for the best Under 21 players over the last year. The young Barcelona midfielder Pedri was instrumental in the Euro 2020 for Spain and in the Tokyo Olympics where he helped his country to the finals. He beat Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood, and Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham.
2021 was a good year for Chelsea, and winning the Club of the Year comes as no surprise. They became the first club to have both a men’s and a women’s team reach the Champions League final in the same season, and while only the men’s side won the competition, Emma Hayes’ side won a remarkable domestic treble.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was the strong favorite to win it last year, but the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic meant that France Football would not hold the event. Football was mostly played behind closed doors, without fans.