Lionel Messi power 7, Alexia Putellas best player in the world, Gianluigi Donnarumma elected goalkeeper of the year... What to remember of the evening. Winner of the 2021 edition, Lionel Messi beat Robert Lewandowski.
|Ballon d'or 2021 : Lionel Messi, Alexia Putellas - AFP -|
The world's top footballers gathered on Monday 29 November at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris for the 65th Ballon d'Or ceremony. An evening marked by the seventh coronation of Leo Messi as "best player in the world", the first trophy of Alexia Putellas in women, but also the advent of the Parisian Gianluigi Donnarumma as goalkeeper of the year 2021.
Seven at home for Leo Messi
A new Ballon d'Or has been added to the trophy cabinet of Leo Messi, who had already put six on the shelf. His victory in the Copa America with Argentina certainly weighed in his favor with the jury. "It's incredible to be here again. Two years ago I thought this would be one of my last years and here I am again in front of you," he said as he received his trophy from his friend and former teammate Luis Suarez.
The Argentine becomes the second player playing in Ligue 1 to win the Ballon d'Or after Jean-Pierre Papin in 1991: "It is a pride for me to be the first player to win it with the PSG shirt. It is very special, an honor [...] This award gives me a lot of strength for the next step, in a new club".
What a night for #BallonDor pic.twitter.com/XrhrOwWswO
- Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) November 29, 2021
"You deserved it last year," when Messi pays tribute to Lewandowski
Leo Messi, fair play, had a word for his runner-up, Robert Lewandowski, whom he is only 33 points ahead in the standings. The Pole was favorite to win the Ballon d'Or last year before the edition was cancelled due to the health crisis: "I wanted to say to Robert that it is an honor to fight with you, you deserved it last year. I hope that France Football will give it to you because you deserve to have it at home [...] It is an honor to be here with you. You broke records and you also deserved to win the Ballon d'Or. You had an incredible season".
The Pole did leave Paris with a consolation prize, however, as France Football created a new trophy for the best European striker of the year, which was awarded to him.
The French in the dark
Author of 11 goals and 7 assists since the beginning of the season, and one of the few satisfying elements of Les Bleus at the Euro, Karim Benzema finishes in fourth place and is the best ranked Frenchman. He is ahead of N'Golo Kanté, winner of the Champions League with Chelsea, in the ranking. Kylian Mbappé finishes ninth, his lowest position in four nominations for the Ballon d'Or.
In the women's ranking, we must unfortunately go down to the 17th place (out of 20), to find the first French woman, Kadidiatou Diani. The Parisian is ahead of her teammate Marie-Antoinette Katoto, while Lyon's Wendie Renard finishes in last place. PSG and Lyon had been eliminated in the semi-finals of the Champions League and the Blues did not participate in the Olympic Games.
Alexia Putellas, a first Spanish Golden Ball since 1960
Even after the departure of Leo Messi to Paris Saint-Germain, a Ballon d'Or will head to Catalonia and Barcelona. The Blaugrana captain, Alexia Putellas, won the women's trophy, after a full season, during which she scored 26 goals and achieved the Cup-Championship-League treble.
At 27, she also became the most capped player of the Spanish national team (92 caps). She was very moved to succeed Ada Hegerberg and Megan Rapinoe in the list of winners. Spain had not won a Ballon d'Or since Luis Suarez in 1960.
Alexia Putellas is your 2021 Women's #ballondor! pic.twitter.com/DJLB2YNObL
- Ballon d'Or #ballondor (@francefootball) November 29, 2021
Pedri and Gianluigi Donnarumma in the spotlight
Barcelona made a raid at the Châtelet theater on Monday night. In addition to Putellas and Messi, who has played half the year with the Blaugrana, its young midfielder of 19 years, Pedri, was named "best young person" of the year. With 73 games played in 2021, a record in Europe, he had already been crowned best young player at the Euro with Spain, and won the silver medal at the Olympics.
Tenth in the overall Ballon d'Or ranking, Gianluigi Donnarumma won the Yachin Trophy for best goalkeeper of the year. The Parisian goalkeeper is rewarded for his decisive role in Italy's European title this summer, he was often decisive in penalty shoot-outs, and for his solid year at club level with AC Milan and then PSG.