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Lionel Messi wins record seventh Ballon d'Or

By Vincent Ashitey
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi
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Lionel Messi has been crowned the 2021 Ballon d'Or winner at a ceremony at the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris.

This becomes a record seventh time the Argentine international has claimed the award.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward ended his long wait for a major international trophy when he helped Argentina win the Copa America in the summer, while he also guided Barcelona to Copa del Rey glory before moving to the French capital in August.

Messi beat closest challenger for the trophy Robert Lewandowski, who was the favourite in 2020 before the awards were cancelled because of Covid.

Lewandowski has scored 73 goals in just 60 games for Bayern Munich since the start of last season, and won FIFA's and UEFA's men's player of the year awards in 2020.

The Ballon d’Or is an annual football prize presented by France Football.

The award, voted for by football journalists, is given to the male player who was deemed to have played the best football over the previous 12 months. Unsurprisingly, two of the greatest footballers of all time, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, top the list of all-time winners.

Messi won the title for a record-breaking seventh time in 2021, while Ronaldo sits just behind him in second place with five trophies to his name.

Who has won the most Ballon d’Or awards?

Players who have won the Ballon d’Or / FIFA Ballon d'Or more than once between 1956 and 2020

Lionel Messi (Arg) – 7

Cristiano Ronaldo (Por) – 5

Michel Platini (Fra) – 3

Johann Cruyff (Ned) – 3

Marco van Basten (Ned) – 3

Franz Beckenbauer (Ger) – 2

Ronaldo (Bra) – 2

Alfredo Di Stefano (Spa) – 2

Kevin Keegan (Eng) – 2

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Ger) – 2