Relive the best moments of Messi‘s six Ballon d’Or triumphs
Lionel Messi is expected to collect his seventh Ballon d’Or award at a glittering 2021 ceremony in Paris this evening. Messi is the favourite after winning the Copa America with Argentina earlier this year, despite one of his less impressive years at club level: Barcelona finished third in La Liga and fell in the first knockout round of the Champions League. However, Messi scored two goals as Barca won the Copa del Rey final and he was La Liga’s top goalscorer once more, before switching to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
Robert Lewandowski was widely expected to win last year’s award before it was cancelled due to the pandemic, and the Bayern Munich striker is in the running once again. Chelsea’s Jorginho is another candidate, having won the Champions League with his club and Euro 2020 with his country Italy a couple of months later.
Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas and Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema lead the charge for the women’s award. Putellas scored in the final as the all-conquering Barca won the Champions League, while Miedema is both Netherlands and Women’s Super League all-time leading goalscorer and racked up goals at the Olympic Games. Spain’s Pedri is expected to win the Kopa Trophy for the best men’s young player, while Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy and PSG’s Gianluigi Donnarumma lead the running for the men’s goalkeeper award, the Yashin Trophy.
The ceremony takes place tonight at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris, starting from 7.30pm GMT. It will be streamed live online via L’Equipe’s YouTube channel, and Eurosport will also be streaming the award on its website and the Eurosport app. The ceremony is expected to end around 9pm GMT. You can follow all the latest updates below.
Ballon d’Or 2021: Latest arrivals
Spiderman duo Zendaya and Tom Holland, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, a French comedian and a man flourishing his cape – just some of the non-football related sights on the red carpet at the start of tonight. Tremendous.
Which current players and other football faces can you name from this crop? Answers in our next post – one is pretty easy, to be fair…
Karl Matchett29 November 2021 18:57
Ballon d’Or 2021: Latest arrivals
Robert Lewandowski here stealing the show by signing a football for a kid carrying a Messi jersey. Levels to that kind of mind-games.
Karl Matchett29 November 2021 18:46
Ballon d’Or 2021: Still to come tonight
Right, let’s get this in order: there are several things we don’t know about tonight.
First, here’s what will be revealed in the main event:
- Ballon d’Or top 10 and winner
- Ballon d’Or Feminine winner
- Kopa Trophy and Yashin Trophy winners
- Two new awards and (presumably) inaugural winners
Now, what about the things we aren’t entirely sure of:
- Whether a countdown is coming of the Women’s shortlist or just the winner
- Same, but for Kopa and Yashin
- What the two new awards are – though reports suggest they are ‘Club of the Year’ and ‘Striker of the Year’
Karl Matchett29 November 2021 18:33
Ballon d’Or 2021: Stars of today and yesterday
Stars both past and present of the game! Lieke Martens is hoping to land the Ballon d’Or Feminine, while Fabio Cannavaro was the 2006 winner after claiming the World Cup with Italy that year.
Karl Matchett29 November 2021 18:28
Ballon d’Or 2021: Red carpet arrivals
Oh look, our first images of the night are starting to drop: the players arriving who are on the shortlist, the dignitaries who are representing different clubs…and, of course, the main prize on offer, the Ballon d’Or itself. Here’s Denmark’s Simon Kjaer, who came 18th, and Emilio Butragueno, Real Madrid’s sporting director.
And the ole’ gold ball that 10 players are still hoping to win.
Karl Matchett29 November 2021 18:25
Ballon d’Or 2021: Ronaldo hits out at France Football
Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t holding back. He’s just posted this – France Football’s Pascal Ferre recently hit headlines by claiming Cristiano had told him that his “only ambition” was to “retire with more Ballon d’Or [wins] than Messi”.
Man United’s forward says Ferre has lied and used the Portuguese attacker’s name to promote himself and his publication, and says he always wants to congratulate those who win within sportsmanship and fair play and that his own ambitions are to win national and international titles for his club and country. More to come on that, no doubt.
Karl Matchett29 November 2021 18:20
Ballon d’Or 2021: Full rankings announced so far
Full list of shortlisted players announced so far:
T29 – Luka Modric, Cesar Azpilicueta
T26 – Gerard Moreno, Nicolo Barella, Ruben Dias
T21 – Lautaro Martinez, Bruno Fernandes
Karl Matchett29 November 2021 18:11
Ballon d’Or 2021: Haaland’s highlights and scoring stats
Is this the man you’d like your team to sign as a new No9 in the summer? He’ll cost an absolute fortune in both transfer fee and salary according to reports, so it’s no wonder Dortmund are fairly calm in terms of their ability to keep him…or cash in!
He’s 11th in the world for Ballon d’Or voting and, considering Norway are far from an international superpower, BVB didn’t win the league and were nowhere near the running to win in Europe, that is a seriously impressive accolade.
Karl Matchett29 November 2021 18:07
Ballon d’Or 2021: Countdown to the ceremony
Lionel Messi is the odds-on favourite to win the Ballon d’Or in a ceremony in Paris and the PSG star will hope to collect a record seventh prize when he makes the short trip to the Chatelet Theatre this evening.
The Ballon d’Or returns after an absence – last year’s award was cancelled due a football calendar disrupted by the pandemic, a controversial decision which saw Robert Lewandowski almost certainly denied his first golden ball.
Bayern Munich’s Polish striker is among the frontrunners once again, but Messi’s achievement finally winning the Copa America earlier this year has put him top of the pile in this year’s odds. If Messi does win, it would be his seventh Ballon d’Or award, a record tally which would see him move two clear of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Karl Matchett29 November 2021 17:59
Ballon d’Or 2021: Ceremony starting soon!
Plenty of eager eyes keeping an eye out for their heroes. Hope they’ve got a good way of watching once the action starts unfolding inside the building.
Karl Matchett29 November 2021 17:55