The 2021 Ballon d’Or award ceremony has come and gone with a familiar face emerging victorious once again. Lionel Messi picked up his seventh Golden Ball to establish a seemingly unassailable lead over fierce rival Cristiano Ronaldo who has collected five.
But the event was not expected to be about the duo as some other players had garnered several accolades.
After helping Chelsea to the trophy as well as Italy to emerge European champions, midfielder Jorginho was tipped by many to scoop the award. Moreso, having being named European Best Player earlier on.
But Robert Lewandowski’s stupendous goal-scoring exploits for Bayern Munich also put him in strong contention to take home the award.
Unfortunately for the duo, it turned out there is still a certain special player, who, apart from being named Messi, also won the Copa America for the first time with his country, Argentina.
The 34-year-old, who now plies his trade in France with Paris Saint-Germain, emerged victorious. He has now lifted the prize handed to the best player in world football more times than any other male player in the history of the game.
Lewandowski had to settle for second place while Jorginho came in third.
The Polish striker was, however, compensated with a new award designed for the Striker of the Year. Chelsea as a team won the other newly introduced award which was for the Best Team of the Year.
As for the City contingent, Kevin De Bruyne was considered the best player in the team.
The Belgian ranked eighth on the final list behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, as voted for by journalists.
The next City player Raheem Sterling was placed a distant 15th in the standings.
Below is a full list of the final Ballon d’Or rankings with Riyad Mahrez (20th), Phil Foden (25th) and Ruben Dias (26th) also making the cut:
1) Lionel Messi
2) Robert Lewandowski
4) Karim Benzema
5) N’Golo Kante
6) Cristiano Ronaldo
7) Mohamed Salah
8) Kevin De Bruyne
9) Kylian Mbappe
10) Gianluigi Donnarumma
11) Erling Haaland
12) Romelu Lukaku
13) Giorgio Chiellini
14) Leonardo Bonucci
15) Raheem Sterling
17) Luis Suarez
18) Simon Kjaer
19) Mason Mount
20) Riyad Mahrez
21) Bruno Fernandes
22) Lautaro Martinez
23) Harry Kane
25) Phil Foden
= 26) Nicolo Barella, Ruben Dias and Gerard Moreno
= 29) Luka Modric and Cesar Azpilicueta
Other award winners on the night include:
Barcelona Femini star Alexias Putellas, who won the Women’s Ballon d’Or award after leading the team to win the Women’s Champions League crown.
Barcelona youngster Pedri was awarded the Kopa Trophy, which is given to the best player aged under 21.
Italy and Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was handed the 2021 Yashin Trophy, beating Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy to the prize. The shot-stopper had earlier won the Best Player award at Euro 2020 after helping his country win the tournament.
He then completed a move from AC Milan to the Parc des Princes in the summer. The French club currently boasts of some of the biggest names in the game and will be looking to win even more accolades next term.
But City showed they are in prime position for recognition when the two sides squared up recently at the Etihad Stadium.