Lionel Messi, a forward for Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina, has won the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time in a row.
Messi, 34, has 40 goals in 2021 – 28 for Barcelona, four for PSG, and eight for Argentina – and has helped his side win the Copa America, his first international honor.
Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich and Poland finished second, Jorginho of Chelsea and Italy came third, and Karim Benzema of Real Madrid was fourth.
The Ballon d’Or is decided by a vote of 180 journalists from all around the world, yet due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no award in 2020.
From 2008 until 2019, the award was won by either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo (five times), with the exception of 2018, when it was won by Croatian midfielder Luka Modric.
Messi has now won the trophy seven times, following wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2019.
Lewandowski received the ‘Striker of the Year’ award, a new award announced just hours before the ceremony. He scored 53 goals for Bayern in all competitions in 2021.
Gianluigi Donnarumma of Paris Saint-Germain received the Yashin Trophy for outstanding goalkeeper, while Chelsea was awarded Club of the Year after winning the Champions League.
Pedri, a 19-year-old Barcelona midfielder, won the Kopa Trophy for the finest player under the age of 21, ahead of England internationals Jude Bellingham, Mason Greenwood, and Bukayo Saka, who finished second, fifth, and sixth, respectively.