Famed footballer Lionel Messi has claimed his seventh Ballon d’Or, holding off the challenge of Polish striker Robert Lewandowski and Italian midfielder Jorginho at the Paris ceremony.
Messi, who recently moved from Barcelona to Paris St Germain, received the honorary award on Monday, breaking his own 2019 record when he won the Ballon d’Or for the sixth time. The Ballon d’Or was not awarded in 2020 due to COVID-19.
In July, Messi won his first major international tournament with Argentina, helping the country’s national team beat Brazil. After receiving the award, Messi remarked: ‘It’s incredible to be here again. Two years ago I thought it was the last time. Winning the Copa America was key’.
The French football club then took to Twitter and wrote that with his ‘record seventh’ win, Messi continues ‘to make history’.
In the meantime, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo came in sixth, while Barcelona and Spain midfielder Alexia Putellas won the women’s award for the first time after an outstanding season.
Putellas follows in the footsteps of Ada Hegerberg, who won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018, and US World Cup star Megan Rapinoe of 2019. Putellas shared: ‘I’m very emotional, it’s a very special moment’.
HERE IS THE WINNER!
— Ballon d'Or #ballondor (@francefootball) November 29, 2021
This marks the first time that France Football has ever given the honour to a member of the Barcelona women’s team, as per FC Barca.