The prestigious Ballon d’Or has long been deemed as the Academy Awards of sports. Some of association football’s distinguished talents have won the award once, with the likes of Zinedine Zidane, George Best and Eusebio. However, on November 29th, a renowned talent won the prestigious prize for the seventh time, Lionel Messi.
Seven times the charm
The 34-year old soccer prodigy has remained the most ideal candidate for the award after he also won it last time in 2019. The award was not given last time due to the surge of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe last year.
A lot has happened to him this year which is considered a major turning point in his career: he won the Copa America for Argentina and he departed from Barca in which he spent much of his sporting career, before he transferred to the French club Paris Saint-Germain.
In an interview in today’s news he said, “It was an incredible honor to be in these halls again. I thought that it was the last time I’m going to win an award after two years. Having won the Copa America with my compatriots was an incredible experience. I didn’t know how many years I have left in my life, but I wish that I would have more.”
Barca dominated the awards
Messi topped the world ranking with 613 points beating his runner-up Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich with 33 points, which is a very wide gap between the two. Back in 2019, Messi had a neck and neck competition with Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool with him beating the latter with just seven points.
This year, Barcelona may have lost their precious Argentinian striker but surprisingly, the club had many nominees and raked much of the awards this year. Barca’s midfielder Alexia Putellas, have been granted as the third awardee of the women’s Ballon d’Or.
Meanwhile, rookie player Pedri, who has been a staple for Barcelona and his Spanish national side, was awarded as the world’s best athlete in the Under 21 category.
The Ballon d’Or gala
Messi showed-up in the glamorous gala in Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, looking dapper with a diamond-embedded black suit from Dolce & Gabbana. His attire is well-matched with his three sons; Mateo, Ciro and Thiago who had the same design, while his wife Antonella is stunning with a golden dress.
Messi’s acceptance speech during the event
Upon receiving the award, Messi complimented his former colleagues from Barca, along with his Argentinian compatriots, and affirmed that he will do his best to win more trophies for his new club, P.S.G.
According to the voting conducted by France Football, the organizers of the award, Messi beat Lewandowski with 33 points. Many sports analysts who วิเคราะห์บอล argued that Lewandowski deserved to receive the award last year which unfortunately was cancelled due to the ongoing global crisis.
During his speech, he second to the critic’s opinions about Lewandowski and humbly saying that, “You deserved the award last year and it was such an honor to be competing against you in top honors”.
Messi’s rival Cristiano Ronaldo was nowhere seen during the event although Pascal Ferre of France Football made a remark about the two during an interview which upsets Ronaldo, he said “Ronaldo’s single goal before his retirement was to win more Ballon d’Or than Messi.”
Ronaldo took to Instagram his rage and clarified the issue by saying that Ferre was lying and he didn’t say those words.
Messi’s 2021 in a nutshell
As for Messi, 2021 has been a lot of turning points to his career. Leaving Barcelona was hard but he knew that he had to move forward to his career by transferring to Paris Saint-Germain.
Prior to this year, some critics of Siam Sport said that they had doubts that Messi would be considered as the best soccer player of all time because he has never won any international awards for his national team. Messi finally put an end to the notion by winning the Copa America with Argentina this year.