Lionel Messi helped Argentina to the Copa America crown. (Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports)
Lionel Messi won his seventh Ballon d’Or title on Monday, while Alexia Putellas won her first Ballon d’Or Féminin title.
Messi, who transferred from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain for the 2021-22 season, has two more titles than his archrival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 34-year-old legend played a vital role in helping Argentina win the Copa America title and also finished as La Liga’s top scorer and scored two goals as Barca won the Copa del Rey. Barcelona had finished third in La Liga and had been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League in the first round.
“I’m really proud to win the France Football Ballon d’Or once again,” Messi said. “It’s incredible to win it for the seventh time. I would like to thank my family, my friends and all the people who follow me and always support me, because without them I couldn’t have done it.”
Messi also won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2019.
Messi beat out Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, who has scored 53 goals this year, more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues. The Polish international striker was widely expected to win last year’s award before it was canceled due to the pandemic. Lewandowski did leave with an award, striker of the year.
Barcelona star Pedri won the Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best men’s under-21 player.
The lists of nominees are compiled by France Football, after which a panel of journalists from around the world vote for the winners.