Lionel Messi wins seventh Ballon d’Or.

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Paris St-Germain forward Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or – awarded to the best footballer of the year – for a record seventh time.

The Argentine 34, helped his country win the Copa America, his first international honor, and has scored 40 goals in 2021 – 28 for Barcelona, four for Paris St-Germain and eight for Argentina.

Poland and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski came second as Italy and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho claimed sitting third with French and Real Madrid’s striker Karim Benzema finishing fourth

The Ballon d’Or is voted for by 180 journalists from around the world, although there was no award in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Messi had already won the trophy more times than any other player and his seventh success comes after wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019.

Striker of the Year prize, a new award announced hours before the ceremony began, was awarded to Robert Lewandowski who scored 53 goals in all competitions in 2021

Paris St-Germain’s Gianluigi Donnarumma, who helped Italy win Euro 2020, won the Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper, while Champions League winners Chelsea were named Club of the Year.

Barcelona midfielder Pedri, 19, won the Kopa Trophy for the best player aged under 21.

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