Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021

Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021

 

Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021


Barcelona's Lionel Messi reacts during the Spanish La Liga match between Real Sociedad and Barcelona at the Anoeta stadium in Real Sociedad, Spain, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrey Garcia)


Lionel Messi is the world’s most valuable athlete, FIFA said Monday, even as the Argentine soccer star insisted he hadn’t changed his mind on leaving the Spanish club after a year with many doubters.


Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021
Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021


With Messi leading the nominations for the first time, for the 2022 Ballon d’Or, FIFA selected the 31-year-old from Argentina as the man on the international scene who most excelled at a minimum of 24 of its 180 national team competitions last year.


The former Barcelona star took 75 points out of the total votes for the top five players in 20 different categories.


“The most important thing in life is to be happy, be in a situation where you’re playing with joy and passion and that’s what I can say,” Messi said.


Ad


Messi quit Messi Man City in July 2018


before signing a six-year contract for €265 million with Barcelona that November.


In a video posted to Instagram, he cited dissatisfaction at not receiving the ball enough in a change of team and criticized his move to the Spanish club but it failed to stop him from winning the four titles he so desperately wanted, four more titles than any other athlete after players like Brazil great Pele and Bayern Munich star Cristiano Ronaldo.


The icing on the cake was a 4-0 victory over Bayern Munich at the Champions League final which was played three days after a court ruled that Barcelona had sacked Ronald Koeman over an investigation into alleged racism against black players.


Messi thanked clubs that were “like families, like brothers,” the those who “carry themselves with a lot of dignity.”


Ad


“Thanks to you,” Messi added. “A real thank you to you. This is a prestigious award for me and I would like to thank you.”


Argentina countryman Diego Maradona finished in third place, with Lionel Messi Argentina's most valuable athlete.


Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021


August 20, 2021


Barcelona forward Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or for the ninth time in his career, equalling Diego Maradona’s record.


Messi became the second player after Maradona to win the award in five different editions, after winning the first four times.


Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021
Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021


Following Maradona’s retirement in 2018, Messi finished second to the Argentinian legend in the previous edition last year, leading Barca to their first La Liga trophy in seven years.


⚽ Read our Lionel Messi coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

The decision to crown the 36-year-old as the most valuable player in the game was announced on Wednesday, hours after Real Madrid shared a video of Messi after Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid to lift La Liga last week.


Messi didn’t celebrate on the pitch after making it nine career winners of the Ballon d’Or while breaking his own record of ninth winners in three years.


“Thank you to La Liga, to Diego Maradona


To all the people who have helped me,” Messi told A Bola. “It’s thanks to God and thank you to the people who have been supportive.


“I could have said the same year in 2017, but in 2020 there were so many surprises. I feel very humble. I wouldn’t have made it if I hadn’t been here.”


Just before the 2020 edition of the award was announced on Thursday, Barca signed Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah with a contract ending in 2023.


The Egyptian has announced his intention to retire from international play when he finally decides to hang up his boots.


His eight goals for Egypt scored this season set a new national record for most goals for a single country, eclipsing Hossam Nabi’s total of 8.8 in 2003.


Thank you to everyone who congratulates me. #Jesper #TheBest! My favorite word in my vocabulary is my own language.


Following Messi’s decision not to renew his contract with Barca at the end of this season, there has been much speculation that the Argentine will move to either Real Madrid or Manchester City after the end of the season.


The club owner, Ratner Carvalho, revealed that two of his teams, Barca and Man City, are favorites to land Messi.


The footballer will be 33 when his current contract expires, meaning he has 18 months left on his deal.


Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021


We don’t talk about that sort of stuff that will make you feel older. It’s why I’m still living. At least the kids are.


Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021
Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021


But would this news still have such an effect without the status of a two-time Ballon d’Or winner? No, not necessarily. We saw where this was going the other day, but Messi? Of all the two-time winners, the absence of a fourth seems almost ironical in its particulars and yet another blow to Messi fans.


It just feels like a flawed award to me. Anyway, to answer the question, of course, he wins again. He wins by just 10 more votes.


And so, here we are. After 17 years of secrecy and while we were all dreaming of some of the pretty stuff, no one could write about it.


And so we are back


This is the true national sport of Argentina. These games are a genuine spectacle in terms of audience, but I’m sure most folks will tell you they forget the full story for the final whistle.


It comes down to the same story we see all the time: Its only history is about Messi.


More good stuff at Football Director: Diego Maradona Says 'Very Sad' About Messi Win.


The Ballon d’Or should be about the other super players. For Messi, not Cristiano Ronaldo. He deserves so much more than Ronaldo does. The fact that he won four while Ronaldo won three with Real Madrid, while Ronaldo scored one goal in his three wins, the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo was born after Messi’s debut and then later lost a tougher Champions League finals to Messi — those games need to be answered at least once a year.


Because what Messi makes of this shows. He responds by not wanting anything from it. He answers by winning.


Good for him.

READS ON KOREA


Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021


Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or 2021, edging out FC Barcelona rival Cristiano Ronaldo in an agonizing cliffhanger and a tortuous three-horse race.


The Argentinian superstar struck again with goals in his final three matches to pique his teammates, including in the Copa del Rey defeat against Real Sociedad. He then scored with a long-range effort to match his clubmate Messi's in last Saturday's 2-1 Copa del Rey first-leg win over Real Madrid (agg: 1-0). But his team's luck didn't hold out against Alaves in the semifinal—the midfielder Emiliano Buendia scored the deciding goal with two minutes left.


Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021
Lionel Messi wins the Ballon d'Or 2021


The winner of the UNFPA award, soccer's equivalent of the Stanley Cup, is awarded every year to the best player in the world.


Messi, who is 40 years old, has a career goal-scoring record eclipsing all but two of the current icons of the game. He has scored 441 times for a higher goal total than Argentine great Maradona in a narrower strike ratio than current league-leading scorer Diego Maradona. Messi, who has scored 406 goals for FC Barcelona, joins a world club pantheon that includes Ronaldo, Gerd Muller, Pelé, Johan Cruyff, and Eric Cantona.


Messi has won the Ballon d'Or a record six times


Ronaldinho was the last player in the history of the tournament to win the award five times. Messi has won the most Ballon d'Ors—six—of all-time with 151 goals.


He still has a lot more to achieve. A 5-year contract extension with Barcelona until 2024 is now finalized, and it would appear that the player who scored two or more goals in 19 of his club's 24 games this season would earn an unprecedented $23 million bonus for reaching the quarterfinals of the Champions League—betraying only two of 24 games in the Champions League in the last five seasons.


For example, in 2013 he had three or more goals in 19 consecutive games. The club-signed contract also includes incentives to reward the return of Luis Suarez—the club's all-time leading scorer and Messi's biggest competitor—before he is sold at the end of the season.


With more goals, many athletes would claim that he is already the greatest player of all time. According to a poll conducted in October 2017, he is 16 percent ahead of Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah—30 points to 23.


Now 53 years old


he is both the record goalscorer and assists-maker for all club competitions of all time.


Messi's worst World Cup performance did not send him off as a potential winner of the competition, however. In 2014, he was voted the best player of the tournament—a spot currently occupied by Brazil star Neymar in this summer's tournament in Russia. He has also won the FIFA Club World Cup six times and three La Liga titles. His wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, is heavily pregnant and due in mid-March.


Is Messi the greatest player of all time? Ballon d'Or is the ultimate quality test of talent. It is not just about scoring, it is also the way you run, your tactical skills, whether you have the best mindset. Don't underestimate it. Such might be the honor of celebrating playing the sport that you love.