Entering its 65th edition after the inaugural awards in 1952, the Ballon d’Or 2021 was an epic event. The award witnessed the emergence of a new breed of football stars who were set to dominate the game and bulldoze previously set records.
Top and highly rated players were brought together with their stats, performances both for their club and national teams made handy.
Interestingly, some relatively unknown names made the list of nominees, but followers of the game know it will be a battle between the two legends who dominated the game in recent years – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Shockingly, Ronaldo fell out of the last three, leaving Lionel Messi, Lewandowski, and Jorginho.
Before the 2021 edition of the award, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had won the award a record 11 times, with Ronaldo winning five times while Lionel Messi won 6 times.
Messi won the award a record four times in a row, beating Michel Platini’s record who won it three times in a row.
The Ballon d’Or 2021 brought the two prolific stars together again. This time Messi had to battle for the award for the first time not as a Barcelona player but a PSG player.
The Argentine international had left the Catalans in the most extraordinary of circumstances after the club admitted that they could not foot his bills due to a crippling La Liga Financial Fair Play Rules.
Organizers of The Ballon d’Or
As usual, France Football were the organizers of the Ballon d’Or 2021. France Football brought their expertise and professionalism to bear.
Considered one the best and most reputable sports and football journalists in Europe, they were on top of their game as they put everything in place to ensure a successful event.
Venue and date of the Ballon d’Or 2021 Awards
The Ballon d’Or 2021 took place on Monday, 29 November 2021, at the theatre du Chatelet in the French city of Paris, home to French Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint Germain.
The 2,500-capacity magnificent dome, built in 1862 by France’s finest Architect Gabriel Davioud was filled as football stars all across the world stormed the venue for the award.
How the Ballon d’Or 2021 was voted
As usual, two critical factors are used in deciding who wins the Ballon d’Or. The Ballon d’Or 2021 was not different.
France Football confirmed that individual performance is top on the list of criteria for deciding the winner before team performance.
180 High profile sports journalists from across the globe decide who makes the last five nominees list. Nominees are awarded points based on the number of votes gathered.
They chose the five best footballers on a 30-man shortlist, and the award was given to the player with the highest number of votes out of the five selected stars.
Nominees for the Ballon d’Or 2021 Award
Leading the list of nominees for the award was Lionel Messi of Paris Saint Germain, and Bundesliga goal wizard Robert Lewandowski, who was then playing for Bayern Munich.
Jorginho was also on the list, including the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar Jr, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Harry Kane, and a host of other top stars.
Full List Of Nominees
Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kanté, Mohamed Salah, Kylian Mbappé, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Kevin De Bruyne, Giorgio Chiellini, Romelu Lukaku, Bruno Fernandes, Erling Haaland, Luis Suárez, Neymar, Harry Kane, Luka Modrić, Phil Foden, Lautaro Martínez, Nicolò Barella, Mason Mount, Rúben Dias, and Leonardo Bonucci.
Winner of the Ballon d’Or 2021
Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or in 2021 after he garnered 613 points to beat his closest two rivals – Robert Lewandowski (580 points) and Jorginho (460 points)
Messi won the award a record seven times, besting his closest rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won it five times.