Messi wins Ballon d’Or for seventh time as Putellas crowned women’s winner

Lionel Messi admitted worthwhile the Copa America with Argentina would possibly want been the determining take into consideration him claiming the boys’s Ballon d’Or prize for the seventh time after a turbulent yr, as Spain’s Alexia Putellas took the women’s award.

Now 34, Messi pipped much-fancied rivals like Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema to take the award in a glittering ceremony on Monday in Paris, city he now calls dwelling after leaving boyhood membership Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in August.

Despite his tearful goodbye from Barcelona and his comparatively underwhelming start to life in France, the jury of journalists from all around the world rewarded him notably for captaining Argentina to their first fundamental worldwide title since 1993.

“Two years previously I believed I was coming into my closing years nonetheless proper right here I’m as soon as extra once more proper right here,” said Messi, who acquired the ultimate model of the Ballon d’Or in 2019 sooner than remaining yr’s awards had been cancelled as a results of pandemic.

Messi moreover acquired in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and in 2015.

“People had been starting to ask me after I used to be going to retire nonetheless now I’m proper right here in Paris and I’m very joyful,” he said on the Chatelet Theatre in central Paris, the place he was joined by his partner Antonella Roccuzzo and their three kids.

“I have no idea what variety of further years I’ve left nonetheless I hope there’ll in all probability be many as a results of I’m really having enjoyable with myself this yr.

“What I achieved with Argentina was a dream come true. I really feel I acquired this trophy because of what we did on the Copa America, so I dedicate it to my teammates.”

Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 inside the closing in Rio de Janeiro as Messi acquired a critical title collectively along with his nation for the first time. He moreover scored 38 aims in 48 video video games in his closing season with Barcelona and acquired the Copa del Rey.

– Lewandowski second –

However Messi has carried out merely 11 situations and scored 4 aims for PSG since changing into a member of the French membership and there was a way that this yr may even see a singular winner.

Poland striker Lewandowski would have been a shoe-in in 2020, when he scored 45 aims in 37 video video games for Bayern, solely for the awards to be cancelled.

He ended remaining season with a excellent 41 Bundesliga aims nonetheless wanted to settle for second place inside the voting for the Ballon d’Or, which is organised by France Football journal and voted for by a panel of journalists from all around the world.

Lewandowski as an alternate was given a consolation prize for the yr’s best goal-scorer and purchased glowing reward from Messi.

“I wanted to say to Robert that it was an honour to go up in opposition to him. He deserved to win it remaining yr,” Messi said.

Midfielder Jorginho, who acquired the Champions League with Chelsea and Euro 2020 with Italy, acquired right here third, adopted by Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and one different Chelsea participant, N’Golo Kante.

Five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo acquired right here sixth. He was absent from the ceremony.

Between them, Messi and Ronaldo have acquired 12 of the ultimate 13 editions of the Ballon d’Or with the exception coming in 2018 when Luka Modric claimed the prize.

– Putellas succeeds Rapinoe –

This is just the third yr {{that a}} ladies’s Ballon d’Or has been awarded, with Putellas following inside the footsteps of Norway’s Ada Hegerberg, winner in 2018, and the United States’ 2019 World Cup celeb Megan Rapinoe.

Spain worldwide Putellas, 27, captained Barcelona to victory on this yr’s Champions League, scoring a penalty inside the closing as her side hammered Chelsea 4-0.

She moreover acquired a Spanish league and cup double with Barca, the membership she joined as an adolescent in 2012 and who’re fast turning into the dominant strain inside the ladies’s sport.

Her Barcelona and Spain teammate Jennifer Hermoso was second, with Sam Kerr of Chelsea and Australia coming in third.

“I’m sure I can’t be the ultimate Barcelona participant to win the prize. This is simply the beginning,” said Putellas, who in August was named participant of the yr by European soccer’s governing physique UEFA.

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