Lionel Messi has been named the winner of the 2021 Ballon d’Or, adding a seventh prize to his trophy cabinet.
Across 56 games for club and country in 2021, Messi racked up an outstanding 41 goals and 17 assists in all competitions, winning the Copa del Rey with former employers Barcelona and the Copa America with Argentina.
HERE IS THE WINNER!
— Ballon d’Or #ballondor (@francefootball) November 29, 2021
He had long been seen as one of the favourites for this year’s award, alongside Bayern Munich hitman Robert Lewandowski, and he was confirmed as the winner during Monday’s ceremony.
Lewandowski came in second, with Chelsea’s Jorginho taking the final spot on the podium.
“It’s amazing to be here again,” he said. “Two years ago, I had no idea what the future held.
“Today, I am in Paris. I am very happy. I really want to continue fighting for new challenges. I don’t know how much I have left, but I hope it’s a lot because I love football.
“Thanks to all my team-mates from Barcelona, PSG and Argentina. I was missing something [the Copa America], but this year I was able to get the dream I wanted so much. It’s a special night for me.
“It’s an honour to fight Lewandowski. You were the winner of this award last year and I hope France Football give it to you. You were the winner, you should have this prize at home too.”
Messi will expect to win even more silverware in 2022, with his PSG sitting pretty at the top of Ligue 1 and likely to challenge for all the domestic honours in France.