Arguably the greatest footballer to ever grace the game, Lionel Messi has previously won the Ballon d’Or six times. He started his golden ball legacy back in 2009 and continued to win in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. This year it could have gone either way, to Messi or Lewandowski for their god-like performances throughout the season.
Monday night in Paris, the GOAT won the men’s Ballon d’Or award for a record-extending seventh time at a ceremony. Messi has now 7 Ballon d’Ors followed by Cristiano Ronaldo (5), Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten with 3 each. He pulls two clear of his eternal rival Ronaldo.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo expressed his desire to win the most golden ball in the history of football. He wants to surpass Leo Messi and thinks that he deserves six, seven or even eight. The Manchester United player will now have to win three more to achieve the feat.
Messi helped Barcelona to Copa del Rey glory back in April. He then went on to land a first senior trophy with Argentina at the 2021 Copa America – a competition that also saw him named Player of the Tournament. Argentina won the Copa America after 28 years thanks to Messi and co.
The 34-year-old scored 38 goals in 48 games last season for Barcelona. In August, he moved to Paris Saint-Germain where he scored 4 goals in 11 appearances.
Messi is now the only player on the planet to have won Ballon d’Or awards in “three different decades”. In terms of countries, Argentina, Germany, Netherlands and Portugal have won it for 7 times each. Lionel Messi himself contributes all seven for Argentina. An unparalleled record indeed.