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Lionel Messi wins seventh Ballon d’Or, while Alexia Putellas wins first women’s title


It was a victory that spanned a record for Messi, who now has two more titles than arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

While it could be considered a relatively low year at club level for Messi, he played a key role in helping Argentina win the Copa América earlier this year.

He also finished as Spain’s top scorer and scored two goals to help Barca win the Copa del Rey.

Before he arrived at Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, Barcelona had finished third in La Liga and were knocked out of the Champions League in the first round.

Messi previously won this award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019.

Messi kisses the trophy as he celebrates with his teammates after winning the Copa America final.

Messi has surpassed the competition of Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, who has scored 53 times this year, more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues.

The Polish striker was widely expected to win the award last year before it was canceled due to the pandemic.

As for Putellas, she’s had a dream year.

The 27-year-old was a contributing factor to Barcelona’s treble-winning season, helping the club win the Champions League, Spanish league and Spanish Cup.

In 2021, in an excellent Barcelona team, Putellas has become the standout player, contributing 37 goals and 27 assists.

She beat her Barcelona teammate Jennifer Hermoso to win the award; the third time it was played.

It was introduced in 2018 and won by Ada Hegerberg of Norway, while Megan Rapinoe of America became the second winner the following year. Last year’s award was canceled amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Putellas poses after being awarded the Ballon d & # 39;  female s.

The timing of this year’s season awards in the midst of a break from women’s international competition has drawn criticism, a decision that has made it difficult for some candidates to attend.

For example, Australia and Chelsea star Sam Kerr, who is in the running for the title of best player in the women’s game, will likely be conspicuously absent from the ceremony with Matildas facing the US in Newcastle. on Tuesday.

The list of candidates was compiled by France Football, after which a panel of journalists from around the world voted on the winners.

Earlier in the evening, Barcelona star Pedro won the Kopa Trophy, which is awarded to the best male under-21 player.

However, Lewandowski did not end the evening empty-handed, being named ‘striker of the year’, a new award introduced this year.

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was awarded the Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper.

European champions Chelsea were named club of the year, the first team to win that title.

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