Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina forward has won the Ballon d’Or, which is given to the best footballer of the year, for the seventh time.
Messi, 34, helped Argentina win the Copa America for the first time, and he has 40 goals in 2021, including 28 for Barcelona, four for PSG, and eight for Argentina.
Messi had already won the award more times than any other player, with victories in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and now 2019.
With the exception of 2018, when Luka Modric won the Ballon d’Or, Messi and Ronaldo have won 12 of the last 13 editions of the award.
“It’s incredible to be here again,” he said at the ceremony which was held at Paris’s Theatre du Chatelet.
“Two years ago I thought it was the last time. People were starting to ask me when I was going to retire but now I’m here in Paris and very happy.
Messi also praised the second-place finisher, Poland captain Robert Lewandowski, 33.
“I wanted to say to Robert that it was an honour to go up against him,” said Messi. “He deserved to win it last year.”
Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich and Poland came in second, Jorginho of Chelsea and Italy came in third, and Karim Benzema of Real Madrid came in fourth.
Lewandowski led Bayern Munich to 53 goals in all competitions in 2021, earning him the Striker of the Year title, which was only announced hours before the event.
Gianluigi Donnarumma of Paris St-Germain received the Yashin Trophy for outstanding goalkeeper, while Chelsea was named Club of the Year after winning the Champions League.
Pedri, a 19-year-old Barcelona midfielder, won the Kopa Trophy for finest player under the age of 21, with England internationals Jude Bellingham, Mason Greenwood, and Bukayo Saka finishing second, fifth, and sixth, respectively.