Lionel Messi lifts seventh Ballon d’OR; Alexia Putellas with her first

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Paris: Lionel Messi created history as he lifted his seventh Ballon d’OR. France Football hosted the Ballon d’OR 2021 in Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. Meanwhile, Alexia Putellas won the women’s Ballon d’Or 2021. The record six times winner,Messi, lifted the trophy again edging past Robert Lewandowski.

Lionel Messi guided Argentina to the Copa America title thus ending the 28 years of trophy drought of the Albiceleste. He also won the Copa del Ray with FC Barcelona. The former FC Barcelona player, not only won awards but also was the highest scorer in La Liga in 2020-21. The Argentine also finished Copa America with most goals, most assists and the Player of the Tournament Award.

Messi said, “Today I’m here in Paris. I am very happy, really very happy, I really want to continue to fight and reach new objectives. I don’t know how many more years but I am really enjoying myself. I thank my team-mates at Barça, Paris & Argentina.”

Alexia Putellas who had a monstrous season for FC Barcelona Femeni won the women’s Ballon d’OR. Currently, the captain of Femeni side, Putellas won treble with FC Barcelona Femeni. She scored 26 goals in 42 games overall, which included a  Champions League final goal against Chelsea. In August she was named UEFA women’s player of the year.

“I’m very emotional, it’s a very special moment,” she said at the Paris ceremony through a translator. “I would like to start by thanking all my teammates, especially my current (Barcelona) teammates. For me it’s a collective success.”

Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, who was the close second in Ballon d’OR race won the “Striker of the year”. While Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma clinched the best goalkeeper award. The Kopa trophy for best young player went to Barcelona’s young talent, Pedri. Chelsea, were awarded  the best club award.

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