Lionel Messi wins Ballon d’Or 2021, claims record seventh trophy - GulfToday

Lionel Messi wins Ballon d’Or 2021, claims record seventh trophy

Lionel Messi poses after being awarded the Ballon d'Or award at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. AFP

Argentine football star and Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi has won the men’s 2021 Ballon d’Or, and a record seventh trophy, at an awards ceremony in Paris on Monday evening.

Messi, 34, held off the challenge of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Chelsea’s Jorginho to collect the prize and move two clear in his long-running battle with five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who was among the 30 players shortlisted but did not feature in the top three for the first time in 11 years.

Lionel Messi with his wife Antonella Roccuzzo and their sons before the awarding ceremony.

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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