FC Barcelona top 5 most expensive signings
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Lionel Messi had another evening to remember on Monday as he won a staggering seventh Ballon d’Or of his glittering career. The Argentinean star, now at Paris Saint-Germain, fought off competition from the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo to pick up the gong following an impressive 2021 for club and country.
The 34-year-old at times almost single-handedly carried his former side Barcelona last season, while he also won the first international title of his career as he inspired Argentina to win the Copa America in the summer.
Although he has not set the world alight since his move to PSG, it is difficult to argue that there has been a better player throughout the year than Messi, and another Ballon d’Or is testament to the sensational player he has been over the years.
There was more than one honour to fight for on Monday, however, and the Kopa Trophy is awarded to the best performing starlet under the age of 21.
England internationals Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka were among those nominated, but in the end it was Barca midfielder Pedri who claimed first place.
And according to Diario Sport, Messi was among those who gave the maximum score of three points to his former teammate to help him win.
In his victory speech, Pedri gave special praise to Messi saying: “Thank you, Leo, for everything you helped me with.”
And the pair certainly still seem to have a strong bond, with the two seen talking and meeting each others’ families before the ceremony.
Meanwhile, there appears to have been something approaching bitterness from Messi’s old rival Ronaldo since he missed out on winning the main prize.
On Tuesday a Ronaldo-dedicated Instagram page listed the achievements the Portuguese and Manchester United forward had accomplished this year before concluding it should have been he, rather than Messi, who claimed the award.
And Ronaldo’s official page liked this post and simply replied: “Facts”, along with a thumbs-up emoji.
Whether he can claim victory next year instead remains to be seen, but Ronaldo should probably focus more on his performances on the pitch than getting involved with beef off it.
The 36-year-old has scored just once in his last six appearances in all competitions for club and country.
And he will be looking to change that on Thursday when United take on Arsenal in the Premier League.
Messi, meanwhile, will be back in action on Saturday when PSG travel to Lens in Ligue 1.
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