The Paris Saint Germain (PSG) star Lionell Messi has grabbed another record seventh Ballon d’Or on Monday night.
Messi, 34, effectively retained the trophy he last won in 2019 — controversially, the award was not handed out by France Football last year because of the coronavirus pandemic — after a year in which he ended his long wait for an international honour, winning the Copa América with Argentina, and left Barcelona, the club where he had spent all of his career, for Paris St.-Germain.
“It’s incredible to be here again,” Messi said. “Two years ago I thought it was the last time. Winning the Copa América was the key.”
“I don’t know how many years I have left,” he added, “but I hope many more.”
The Argentinian footballer also took to his Instagram to express his joy on winning the award again. He also thanked people who supported him.
Messi finished with 613 points in the voting, only 33 more than the runner-up, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski. In 2019, the last time the trophy was awarded, Messi beat Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk by only seven points.
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo has hit back at the editor of France Football who claimed the Manchester United forward’s only ambition is to “retire with more Ballons d’Or than Lionel Messi”.
Ferré told the New York Times: “Ronaldo has only one ambition and that is to retire with more Ballon d’Or [awards] than Messi. I know because he has told me.”
However, Ronaldo has disputed that version of events and took to Instagram to claim that Ferré “lied” during the interview.
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