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Paris St-Germain and Argentina forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d'Or for a record seventh time.

Paris St-Germain and Argentina forward Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or - awarded to the best footballer of the year - for a record seventh time.

Paris St-Germain and Argentina forward Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or - awarded to the best footballer of the year - for a record seventh time.

Messi was widely expected to collect the gong again after leading his country to their first major trophy in 28 years with their Copa America triumph in the summer.

He also played a crucial role in Barcelona's Copa del Rey success last season in what proved to be his final trophy at the Camp Nou before completing a shock summer transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

His latest accolade is the first he has received in his new home city and takes him two ahead of long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who was among those to miss out on the award.

Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski came second, Chelsea and Italy midfielder Jorginho was third and Real Madrid's French striker Karim Benzema finished fourth.

Meanwhile Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas won the Women's Ballon d'Or, awarded to the best female footballer in 2021.

The Ballon d'Or is voted for by 180 journalists from around the world, although there was no award in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo (five wins) collected the award every year from 2008 to 2019, apart from in 2018 when Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won it.

Messi had already won the trophy more times than any other player and his seventh success comes after wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019.

"It's incredible to be here again," he said at the ceremony, held at Paris's Theatre du Chatelet.

"Two years ago I thought it was the last time. People were starting to ask me when I was going to retire but now I'm here in Paris and very happy.

"It's a special year for me with this Copa America title. It meant a lot to win [1-0 against Brazil in the final] at the Maracana stadium and I was so happy to celebrate with the people from Argentina.

"I don't know if it's the best year of my life - I've had a long career - but it was a special one with the title with Argentina after the tough times and the criticism."

Messi also had warm words for the runner-up, 33-year-old Poland captain Lewandowski.

"I wanted to say to Robert that it was an honour to go up against him," said Messi. "He deserved to win it last year."

Lewandowski scored 53 goals in all competitions in 2021 for Bayern and was awarded the Striker of the Year prize, a new award that was only announced hours before the ceremony began.

Paris St-Germain's Gianluigi Donnarumma, who helped Italy win Euro 2020, won the Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper, while Champions League winners Chelsea were named Club of the Year.

Barcelona midfielder Pedri, 19, won the Kopa Trophy for the best player aged under 21, with England internationals Jude Bellingham, Mason Greenwood and Bukayo Saka coming second, fifth and sixth respectively.

Ballon d'Or results

  1. Lionel Messi (Paris St-Germain/Argentina, forward)
  2. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland, forward)
  3. Jorginho (Chelsea/Italy, midfielder)
  4. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France, forward)
  5. N'Golo Kante (Chelsea/France, midfielder)
  6. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United/Portugal, forward)
  7. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt, forward)
  8. Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City/Belgium, midfielder)
  9. Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain/France, forward)
  10. Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris St-Germain/Italy, goalkeeper)
  11. Erling Braut Haaland (Borussia Dortmund/Norway, forward)
  12. Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea/Belgium, forward)
  13. Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus/Italy, defender)
  14. Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/Italy, defender)
  15. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City/England, forward)
  16. Neymar (Paris St-Germain/Brazil, forward)
  17. Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid/Uruguay, forward)
  18. Simon Kjaer (AC Milan/Denmark, defender)
  19. Mason Mount (Chelsea/England, midfielder)
  20. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City/Algeria, forward)
  21. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United/Portugal, midfielder), tied with Lautauro Martinez (Inter Milan/Argentina, forward)
  22. -
  23. Harry Kane (Tottenham/England, forward)
  24. Pedri (Barcelona/Spain, midfielder)
  25. Phil Foden (Manchester City/England, forward)
  26. Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan/Italy, midfielder), tied with Ruben Dias (Manchester City/Portugal, defender) and Gerard Moreno (Villarreal/Spain, forward)
  27. -
  28. -
  29. Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia, midfielder), tied with Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea/Spain, defender)
  30. -

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