Lionel Messi was on Monday night named the recipient of the 2021 Ballon d’Or as the Argentine forward claimed the award for a record-extending seventh time.
The Paris Saint-Germain star, who joined the French club from Barcelona in the summer, was voted ahead of Bayern Munich’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski and Italian Chelsea midfielder Jorginho.
Messi has won the Ballon d’Or in successive editions for the first time since winning the award four years in a row between 2009 and 2012. Last year’s ceremony was cancelled due to the pandemic.
The 34-year-old forward may have endured a frustrating year with former club Barcelona and is yet to hit his immeasurable heights for PSG, but he still scored 40 goals for club and country – 28 for Barcelona, four for PSG and eight for Argentina. Messi was also named player of the tournament at the Copa America, where he led his national team to the title – his first major international trophy.
Lewandowski finished runner-up after another exemplary year for Bayern, scoring 53 goals in all competitions, and was named Striker of the Year – a new award announced just hours before the ceremony.
Jorginho, meanwhile, took third spot after winning the two biggest prizes on offer for a European player, helping Chelsea claim the Champions League title, before playing a pivotal role in Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph.
The Ballon d’Or is voted for by 180 selected journalists from around the world. Check out the full rankings of the 2021 edition by clicking through the photo gallery above.