Sat, 28 May 2022

Reports have claimed that Lionel Messi has won the 2021 Ballon d'Or awarded by France Football, which would be the seventh time the star has received the accolade.

According to Sky Sport Italia journalist Matteo Moretto, the PSG star has already informed his friends, and presumably his family too, of his conquest which will be made official at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris on Monday.

If true, this would be the Argentine's seventh acquisition of the highest individual accolade in football and finds him seeing off strong competition from Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema.

In terms of their generational rivalry, it would also put him two wins ahead of Manchester United ace Cristiano Ronaldo, though the Portuguese has lifted the Champions League on five occasions to Messi's four.

Messi being crowned the world's best player again would finish an eventful year for the 34-year-old.

In June, he finally landed major silverware for his country Argentina after three lost Copa America finals and one in the World Cup.

Beating holders Brazil 1-0 at the Maracana, La Albiceleste ended a 28-year trophy drought when getting their hands on South America's continential trophy.

Messi also won the Copa del Rey with Barcelona before leaving for PSG as a free agent this summer.

On a personal note, he netted 41 goals and provided 17 assists in 2021. Yet life in Ligue 1 has been rocky so far with just a single successful strike there.

In the Champions League, he has fared better with three goals this season.

Messi last scooped the Ballon d'Or in late 2019 while still playing for Barca.

Presenting the trophy to an adoring Camp Nou crowd alongside sons Thiago, Mateo and Ciro, he then went on to score a hat trick in a 5-2 La Liga drubbing of Mallorca.

This win saw him wrest back control of the gong from 2018 World Cup finalist with Croatia Luka Modric, who also claimed a third straight Champions League title with Ronaldo at Real Madrid then.

In 2020, France Football did not hand out their award due to the pandemic, in another year where many felt Lewandowski had done enough to be named the victor.

In terms of this year's prize, some have questioned journalist Moretto's supposed inside knowledge, although all will be made clear on Monday.


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