Legendary Argentine footballer Lionel Messi picked up his record seventh Ballon d’Or award in Paris on November 29, 2021, by getting the better off Polish footballer Robert Lewandowski who finished second in the standings. After picking up the title, Messi expressed his thoughts on if the record his beatable or not, and doubted the possibility of Cristiano Ronaldo matching his tally of seven Ballon d’Or awards. The Portuguese legend Ronaldo finished sixth in the Ballon d’Or standings behind Messi, Lewandowski, Jorginho, Karim Benzema, and N’Golo Kante.
As reported by Mirror, shedding his thoughts on his record at the post-ceremony press conference, Lionel Messi said, “I don't know if the record is beatable. I just have to accept it but I’m not sure if it can be beaten. Seven is really impressive”. Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Or awards in his professional football career so far, having won the title in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017. At the same time, Messi picked his seventh title in 2021 after previously winning the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2019. 2021 edition of the awards was the first time since 2007, Ronaldo missed out on the top five spots.
After being canceled in 2020, the Ballon d’Or was awarded to Messi in 2021 after he won the Copa America with Argentina earlier in the year. He almost took Barcelona to a La Liga title before the team got over the line in the early months of 2021. He finished Copa America with Argentina as the Player of the tournament and the Golden Boot and picked up his first major international trophy.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich footballer Lewandowski finished 33 points behind Messi’s 613 points in the 2021 Ballon d’Or standings, while Chelsea’s Jorginho finished third with 460 points to his credit. One of the highly anticipated contenders Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema finished fourth with 239 points, followed by N’Golo Kante with 186 points. Having returned to Manchester United in 2021, Ronaldo finished 57 points ahead of Liverpool Mohamed Salah at 121. Whereas, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Paris Saint-Germain(PSG) duo Kylian Mbappe, and Gianluigi Donnarumma finished eighth, ninth, and tenth with 73, 58, and 36 points respectively.