The Ballon d’Or could not hold for the 2019/2020 season as the Coronavirus pandemic global breakout affected sporting events making it very hard to hold any. Thank God scientists were able to find a solution by producing a vaccine that has restored some sense of normalcy in the order of things. The Ballon d’Or gala took place at the prestigious Paris’s Theatre Du Chatelet on Monday night where former Barcelona ace Lionel Messi won the coveted prize for the 7th time beating Poland and Bayern Munich’s Roberto Lewandowski to the award. The diminutive Argentine forward beat Lewandowski and Chelsea’s Jorginho to the prize.
Lionel Messi switched club earlier this year to Paris St. Germain, which did not stop the Argentine from scooping the award thereby making history as the first man in the game to win the Ballon d’Or in three different decades.
Messi winning the prize has caused a lot of uproar around the globe with so many people believing Roberto Lewandowski was robbed of the prize stating that he deserved it more than anyone else, while some feel he is well-deserving of the prize.
Messi scored 30 goals in La Liga last season, with a remarkable effort against Athletico Bilbao to win the Copa Del Rey, to crown it up, he won the Copa America with Argentina scoring the most goals with five goals and four assists, making him the highest goal scorer of that competition and it was his first for his country.
While having those impressive records that would have guaranteed him an easy passage, there were others also with a remarkable season as well, free-scoring forwards in Mohammed Salah and Robert Lewandowski were also in the form of their lives. It was a tight call as their fates were left to the 180 voters to make their choice. We also had Jorginho who won Euro Cup with Italy and also won the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea F.C, he was nominated to be the winner of the prize.
The ditching of Lewandowski for Messi for the Ballon d’Or is still something a lot of people find hard to believe and that has certainly caused a lot of eyebrows to be raised. At the award, Bayern’s goal machine was mature enough to mask his ill feelings but one could see how disappointed he was with a closer look, good a thing the organizers came up with a consolation as he was awarded the best striker of the year.
The pandemic was certainly to be blamed for last years’ award, where the polish goal machine scored a whopping 55 goals in 47 matches to end the campaign as the highest goal scorer in Europe.
Karim Benzema was also on fire for Real Madrid’s last campaign as he scored 30goals in all to help them lift La Liga, the French man came fourth in the pecking order of the votes. Chelsea’s N’golo Kante who lifted the Champions League was in the fifth position, while Ronaldo whose absence was noticeable in the gala came sixth.
Ronald slammed Ballon d’Or chief Pascal Ferre for saying his career ambition was to finish with one Golden ball of the Ballon d’Or than Messi. The Portuguese forward shut his lies and disrespect for suggesting he would value winning against another footballer, insisting his goals were to win trophies for himself and his teams and set an example for others.
Below is the list for the last 20 nominees of the Ballon d’Or for 2020/2021 season.
BALLON D’OR RANKINGS 2021
29: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
29: Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
26: Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
26: Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
26: Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)
25: Phil Foden (Manchester City)
24: Pedri (Barcelona)
23: Harry Kane (Tottenham
21: Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
21: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
20: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
19: Mason Mount (Chelsea)
18: Simon Kjaer (AC Milan)
17: Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
16: Neymar (PSG)
15: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
14: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
13: Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
12: Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan and Chelsea)
11: Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
10: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan and PSG)
9: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
8: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
7: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
6: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Manchester United)
5: NGolo Kante (Chelsea)
4: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
3: Jorginho (Chelsea)
2: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
1: Lionel Messi (Barcelona and PSG)
Gianluigi Donnarumma won the Yachine Trophy for the best goalkeeper of 2021 while Pedri, the outstanding Barcelona youngster, won the Kopa Trophy for the leading Under-21 player. Alexia Putellas, the Barcelona midfielder, won the Ballon d’Or Feminine.
Ronaldo had a good year as well, in the sixth position he finished the campaign with 30 goals before moving to his former club Manchester United where he has 9 goals to his name in the current campaign.
He displaced Liverpool’s Mo Salah, who finished seventh, while City’s De Bruyne who also had an impressive year was in the eighth position, Kylian Mbappe of PSG came ninth, while former Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma now of PSG finished off in the tenth.
The Yachine award was scooped by the PSG goal stopper for the best goalkeeper of 2021 while Barcelona’s Pedri who was outstanding for Barcelona and Spain at the Euro beat the like of Phil Foden, Ansu Fati, etc. to win the Kopa Trophy for the leading under-21 player. Alexia Patellas of Barcelona won the Ballon d’Or Feminine with superb stats of 22 goals with 19 assists with 30 games played.
Haaland and Lukaku came 11th and 12th respectively. Both were in fine form the last term with the Dortmund striker scoring 41 times in 41 games making him one of the hottest properties out there, Lukaku on the other side lifted the Serie A with Inter Milan with 30 goals.
They finished ahead of the Italian duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Captain Leonardo Bonucci, who came 13th and 14th respectively. They beat the attacking trio of Luis Suarez(17), Neymar(16), and Man City’s Raheem Sterling(15).
The list above showcases how all other stars finished in the ranking according to the vote. The English Premier League boost of so many stars that made the cut, Chelsea’s Mason Mount finished in the 19th position after UCL victory, City’s Mahrez was on the 20th was ahead of the duo of United’s Bruno Fernandes and Inter’s Lautaro Martinez who are both on 21st.