At a ceremony in Paris on Monday evening, Lionel Messi was awarded the 2021 Ballon d’Or, his record seventh title.

Messi, 34, beat out Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, and Chelsea’s Jorginho to win the award and move two points clear of five-time champion Cristiano Ronaldo, who was among the 30 players selected but did not make the top three for the first time in 11 years.

Messi was the favourite to collect the award after winning the Copa America with Argentina earlier this year – his first major international trophy – despite one of his less impressive periods at club level: Barcelona finished third in La Liga and fell in the first knockout round of the Champions League. However, Messi scored two goals as Barca won the Copa del Rey final and he was La Liga’s top goalscorer once more, before switching to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

 

 

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