Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is the winner of the 2021 Ballon d’Or, as he claims a record seventh golden ball. Messi beat out Robert Lewandowski and more for the award. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi Wins 2021 Ballon d’Or, Extends Record to 7

Lionel Messi is the winner of the 2021 Ballon d’Or, as he claims a record seventh golden ball. Messi beat out Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski for the award.

The 34-year-old is technically the repeat champion after his 2019 win, since France Football controversially canceled last year’s ceremony, keeping Lewandowski from his first Ballon d’Or. Such a catastrophe did not go unnoticed by the Argentine, as he called for the organization to give Lewandowski the award in his acceptance speech.

“Robert, you deserve your Ballon D’Or. Last year, everyone was in agreement to say that you were the big winner of this award.”

VIA Fabrizio Romano

In his acceptance speech, Messi thanked his teammates and emphasized a desire to keep climbing to new heights, even though he has seemingly reached the pinnacle of individual success.

“Today I’m here in Paris. I am very happy, really very happy, I really want to continue to fight and reach new objectives. I don’t know how many more years but I am really enjoying myself. I thank my teammates at Barça, Paris and Argentina.”

VIA Fabrizio Romano

In 2021, Messi led Argentina to a Copa America title – his first international trophy with the senior national team – as he scored and assisted on 75% of the team’s goals in the tournament. He was awarded the Golden Boot and Best Player of the Tournament honors.

He also led Barcelona, amidst all the club’s internal struggles, to a Copa del Rey title and third place finish in La Liga. The left-footed wonder from Rosario scored 28 goals and assisted on an additional nine in the calendar year for the Catalan side. And now it appears that Messi is finally finding his footing in Paris, having scored four goals and assisted another four for PSG in 11 games.

With Messi aging like fine wine, could he get a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or next season? Well, it’s not out of the question.

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