Is the seventh time the charm? For Lionel Messi, it seems the answer is yes. The superstar was just awarded the Ballon d’Or, widely considered the most prestigious individual award for football players. The results were announced yesterday, in a ceremony where Alexia Putellas was awarded the Ballon d’Or Féminin.
Messi is no stranger to individual glory in the game he plays better than most other players. But he had stiff competition for the award this year, particularly in the form of Polish striker Robert Lewandowski and Italian-Brazilian midfielder Jorginho. He still came out on top for the seventh time. And despite the achievements of his fellows, it’s hard to truly argue against Messi.
In 2021 the Argentinian striker won his first individual trophy with Argentina – the Copa America. It was the first major title Argentina had won in 28 years. He was also the best player in a tournament that was played in Brazil and which Argentina won by beating its archrivals in their own home stadium. And though Messi’s former club – Barcelona F.C only won one trophy – the Copa del Rey, the Argentina win and substantially improved play, on top of Messi’s individual greatness, was enough to earn him the prestigious award.
He celebrated with his other six trophies, and of course, his wife and three kids, who were dressed just like dad for the ceremony.
The 2020 Ballon d’Or was not awarded because of the pandemic.