The 2021 Ballon d'Or selection process to determine the best individual player of the year included several steps and involved journalists from around the world.
It all culminated in Lionel Messi winning his record seventh Ballon d'Or on Monday night after he complemented a standout campaign with Barcelona with a Copa America triumph over the summer.
But what exactly was the method used to pick Messi as the victor? GOAL takes a look.
What is the selection process for the 2021 Ballon d'Or?
To start, editors at French weekly publication France Football created a 30-player shortlist of award nominees, which itself is prestigious to be a part of.
Then, a jury of voters for the Ballon d'Or winner is compiled by picking top journalists from around the world who will make their selections for first, second, third, fourth and fifth place.
The following qualifications are considered by the jury:
- Individual and collective performances (winners) during the year.
- Player class (talent and fair play).
- Overall judgment of the player's career.
The top-ranking player from each journalist's selection will receive six points, with the second-ranking player earning four points, then three, two and one going down from the rest of their top five picks.
How was Messi chosen for the Ballon d'Or?
After each jury member has selected their top five players for the Ballon d'Or award, the total points are calculated and added, and the player to receive the most number of points will be awarded the top honour.
In 2021, Messi has won with 613 total points, followed by Robert Lewandowski (580) and Jorginho (460).
Who won the 2021 Ballon d’Or?
Messi won this year's Ballon d'Or, the seventh time he's claimed the honour.
The Argentine, as always, has been a central figure in world football, from his Copa America victory to his monumental transfer move to Paris Saint-Germain.
He rounded out a 30-goal La Liga season last term, was involved in nine Copa America goals and appears to be settling into life at PSG as the year comes to an end.
Kevin De Bruyne
How many votes did Lionel Messi get?
Messi received 613 votes - 33 more than second-place finisher Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich.
How many votes did Cristiano Ronaldo get?
Ronaldo finished in sixth place with 178 points. This was his worst Ballon d'Or finish since 2010.