Lionel Messi wins seventh Ballon d’Or, a record – .

Lionel Messi wins seventh Ballon d’Or, a record – .

Barcelona may have lost Messi this year, but he still won material on Monday: Alexia Putellas, a star midfielder on his three-time women’s team, was an easy winner by voting for the women’s Ballon d’Or, and teenager Pedri, a rising talent who is already part of the Barcelona and Spain national team, has been honored as the world’s best Under-21 player.

Messi, who had arrived at the gala at the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris in a shimmering tuxedo, a look to match his three young sons, was generally gentle in accepting his award. He congratulated his former Barcelona team-mates and his compatriots with Argentina, and vowed to fight for new trophies with his new club, PSG

Messi beat his closest competitor, Polish Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, in a vote of 176 journalists and led by France Football, which awards the prize (almost) every year. Many pundits have argued that Lewandowski deserves the honor in 2020, when it was not handed over because, according to organizers, disruptions to the football schedule made him impossible to judge. Messi has said he agrees with this position.

“I think you deserved to win the award last year,” Messi told Lewandowski from the stage, calling it “honor” to fight him for top honors in 2021.


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