2021 Ballon d’Or – winner and players ranked

Photo of author

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 29: Lionel Messi (ARG / PSG) is awarded with his seventh Ballon D'Or award attends the Ballon D'Or ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet on November 29, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)|PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 29: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image was converted to black and white) Lionel Messi (ARG / PSG) is awarded with his seventh Ballon D'Or award attends the Ballon D'Or ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet on November 29, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi wins the 2021 Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi is the Ballon d’Or winner for 2021. This is now his seventh time collecting the prize, the most anyone has done in history. This year was one of the toughest to predict the winner of the Ballon d’Or. Messi’s case is winning Copa America with Argentina, ending a 28-year trophyless drought for the nation.

He was named player of the tournament and finished with most goals and assists as well. Messi also won a Copa del Rey title with FC Barcelona. Although this is not one of the most sought-after trophies, Lionel Messi played a crucial role with FC Barcelona because the team is now struggling without him and sit in seventh place in La Liga.

Lewandowski is the runner-up

Robert Lewandowski is officially the runner-up for the Ballon d’Or. He finished the year with the most goals and has the highest goal/assist ratio globally. Lewandowski also won the Bundesliga this year and found the net 41 times in the German league. Although Lewandowski has an exceptional resume for the Ballon d’Or, Lionel Messi’s success with Argentina surpasses his accomplishments.

Jorginho on the podium

Jorginho finishes third, making it to the podium. Any major team award that was available, Jorginho won. Jorginho played a crucial role for both Italy and Chelsea. Jorginho won the Euros, Champions League, and UEFA Supercup, all in a calendar year. As a result, Jorginho has a perfect case, but it isn’t enough to win the award.

Benzema fourth, nations league winner

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 28: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid  reacts during the La Liga Santander match between Real Madrid CF and Sevilla FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 28, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Karim Benzema is now officially back on the French national team and is proving his worth. He was able to help France win the Nations League trophy and is leading the Spanish league’s top scorer with 11. This is still not enough to be a top contender for the Ballon d’Or.

Kanté places fifth

Kanté has been exceptional this year in the defensive midfielder role. He was able to get his hands on the Champions League trophy and the UEFA Supercup with Chelsea, but the Frenchman was knocked out of the Euros early. For this reason, Kanté cannot finish higher than fifth place.

Ronaldo sixth place for Ballon d’Or

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo misses out on a top-5 position this year. Ronaldo finished in the Italian league with 29 goals which is the most out of anyone in Italy. However, Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to leave the Euros early with Portugal and missed out on the Champions League. On top of that, his former team Juventus wasn’t capable of being champions of Italy and struggled to qualify for the Champions League for the following season.

Salah finds a seventh place for Ballon d’Or

Salah is off to a fantastic start in the Premier League by leading the league in goals and assists. Liverpool is also a title contender and is in good form. However, Salah was knocked out of the Champions League early last season and didn’t win the league title. For this reason, Salah can’t place any higher on the list.

Kevin De Bruyne holds eighth place for Ballon d’Or

Kevin De Bruyne would have made a better case for himself if Manchester City hadn’t lost the Champions League final. However, he was capable of winning the Premier League, but it wasn’t enough to get his name higher on the ranks.

Mbappé claims ninth place for Ballon d’Or

Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe poses upon arrival to attend  the 2021 Ballon d'Or France Football award ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on November 29, 2021. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP) (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images

Although France had an early exit at the European competition, Mbappé still managed to deliver this year. Mbappé found the net 27 times last season in the French league and is the league’s top scorer for the 2020/2021 season. This is enough to get him into the top-10.

Donnarumma secures tenth place for Ballon d’Or

Gianluggi Donnarumma ranks tenth place for the Ballon d’Or. Although he is named goalkeeper of the tournament at the Euro, the tenth place seems too low for a goalkeeper of this caliber. Donnarumma was the star at the Euro for Italy as he helped the team win two essential penalty shootouts. He lifts the European trophy in the end and is a national hero.

Players ranked 11-15

Haaland, Lukaku, Chiellini, Bonucci, and Sterling are all placed on the Ballon d’Or rankings. Haaland is only 21 years old and claims 11th place for goals he scores in the Bundesliga. Lukaku claims 12th place for his ability to bring Inter Milan their first Italian title in 11 years. Chiellini and Bonucci are neck and neck for their performances in the Euro’s which helped Italy win the tournament. Although England lost to Italy in the finals of the Euro, Sterling is still able to make the list with his brilliant performance at the Euro.

Players ranked 16-20

In the following order: Neymar, Suarez, Kjaer, Mount, and Mahrez make a list for the best player of the year. Simon Kjaer makes a special appearance on the list. Although his ability may not be up to par with others on this list, Kjaer is loved by millions worldwide for saving the life of Christian Eriksen on the pitch. It’s nice that a player like him gets recognition for his heroic efforts and saving a life.

The bottom 10 Ballon d’Or nominees ranked

Fernandes and Martínez draw for the 21st position along with Kane, Pedri, and Foden following right behind them this year in the rankings for the best player. Barella, Dias, and Moreno share the 26th position at the Ballon d’Or rankings. Azpilicueta and Modri? both share the 29th spot for the best soccer player of the year.

There are several young players on this part of the list. These players have bright futures ahead of them and plenty more Ballon d’Ors in the future that can be won.

Overall, the Ballon d’Or ceremony was full of surprises. The winner could have gone either way, but people are upset that Lewandowski couldn’t win it. Last year he was the clear favorite if it weren’t for the pandemic canceling the award ceremony.

France Football did in face create a new trophy for the best striker of the year in which they gave to Lewandowski. Some see this as a pity trophy, others as a trophy that will keep Lewandowski’s name in the history books.

Leave a Comment

Sideline Sources Logo

© 2023 Sideline Sources. All Rights Reserved.

The Best of Sports & Culture

Toronto, Canada