Lionel Messi has won his seventh Ballon d’or, as he emerged with the highest votes in the 2021 Ballon d’or awards.
The Argentine forward was announced the winner ahead of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, who was awarded the best striker of the year award, a category which was created just before the start of the ceremony on Monday evening.
“It’s incredible to be here again, Two years ago I thought it was the last time. Winning the Copa America was key. It’s a special year for me with this Copa America title. It meant a lot to win [1-0 against Brazil in the final] at the Maracana stadium and I was so happy to celebrate with the people from Argentina.” Messi said.
Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona in the summer on a free transfer. He was instrumental to Barcelona’s 2021 Copa del Rey victory, and was the top scorer as the 2020/21 La Liga season. He had the most goals and assists at the 2021 Copa, which he won with Argentina. It was a well-deserved award for the mercurial Argentine.
Meanwhile, Barcelona youngster Pedri has been named the Kopa Trophy winner at the 2021 Ballon d’Or ceremony on Monday evening in France.
The Kopa Award is given to best young player under the age of 21. The nineteen year old won the Copa Del Ray with Barcelona last season and also won the Olympics silver medal at the summer Olympics in Tokyo with the Spanish Olympics national team, this was after helping the Spain national team to a semifinal finish at the Euro 2020 in the summer.
All these was achieved with an unbelievable 73 games for club and country (including Euro 2020 and the Olympics) last season which is his first campaign of elite football.
However, injury has hampered his appearance and performance this season for Barcelona and the national team. Pedri beat off competition from the likes of Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, Jamal Musiala, Nuno Mendez, Mason Greenwood and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.
He follows the footsteps of the likes of French forward Kylian Mbappe and Matthijs De Ligt who won the last two editions.
Also, Barcelona feminine forward Alexia Putellas has won the 2021 Women’s Ballon d’Or. Chelsea won the Club of the year award, and Lewandoski won the best striker of the year award. Gianluigi Donarumma was named as the best goalkeeper of the year.
Written by: Daniel Ademiju Idowu