Lionel Messi wins Ballon d’Or 2021

It’s official. Lionel Messi has been awarded the Ballon d’Or 2021.

The 34-year-old continues to cement his legacy as one of the best, if not the best, footballers of all time. Having previously won the prestigious honour six times, the ex-Barcelona captain got his hands on Ballon d’Or #7 on Monday, at the ceremony at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris.

It has not been all hunky-dory for the little magician from Rosario over the past year. But he managed to lead Barcelona to the Copa del Rey triumph in the 2020/21 season. That was followed by the Copa America 2021 triumph with Argentina in the summer – bringing an end to a long and arduous quest for an international trophy.

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Messi’s move to PSG also has not panned out all too well so far. But his contributions with Barcelona and Argentina were enough to clinch the Golden Orb for the seventh time. The 34-year-old has scored 41 goals for club and country in 2021 while he also registered 17 assists, making a total goal contribution of 58 in the calendar year.

Bayern Munich superstar, Robert Lewandowski, has plundered 64 goals and chalked up 10 assists in 2021, while he also won the Bundesliga title. But his struggles with Poland at the UEFA Euro 2020 meant that he ended up coming up short in the Ballon d’Or race, finishing as the runner-up behind Messi.

The Barcelona legend’s previous six Ballon d’Or wins came in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019 while he finished second on five occasions in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. The seventh Ballon d’Or triumph, coming after glory with his national team, will certainly be a sweet one for Messi, one he will cherish for the longest time.

Credit: barcauniversal.com

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