Live Blog

Ballon d'Or 2021 LIVE: Messi, Lewandowski, Ronaldo & football's stars in running for top individual award

Welcome to GOAL's coverage of the 2021 Ballon d'Or, where Lionel Messi beat out the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo for an astonishing record seventh trophy

Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or 2021

That's all, folks!


Thanks for sticking with us through the ceremony tonight, which was quick and to-the-point and not long and dragged out at all.

As a quick recap, Lionel Messi was given his seventh Ballon d'Or trophy (Cristiano Ronaldo has five and will likely never catch up now), while Robert Lewandowski was named Striker of the Year, a new prize likely created just for him due to the 2020 edition being cancelled. Alexia Putellas was named the Women's Ballon d'Or winner, while Gianluigi Donnarumma picked up the Yashin Trophy and Pedri won the Kopa Trophy for being the best player under the age of 21.

Congratulations to all the winners (and for you, for sticking with this liveblog) and so long and bonne nuit!

WATCH: Lionel Messi receives Ballon d'Or from Luis Suarez 💙


Maybe next year...?


WATCH: Messi lights up Eiffel Tower


Just add this to his very long list of accomplishments. What can't the man do!

🗣 Messi: "It's been a real honour to compete with Robert"


Lionel Messi thanked Robert Lewandowski in his speech as he accepted his seventh Ballon d'Or, and added that the Bayern striker should be awarded the 2020 prize.

Messi said: "I’d like to mention Robert, it’s been a real honour to compete with him. I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or, you deserved it.”


Lewandowski pays tribute to Messi and Putellas


Yes, maybe we all would have liked to see Robert Lewandowski clinch a first-ever Ballon d'Or trophy in 2020 – the one year the award ceremony was skipped due to Covid-19 disruptions – but he did have a whole new award made entirely in his honour! That ain't a bad feat.

Congratulations to all 👏

Ballon d'Or Top 10 revealed


1. Lionel Messi | 613 pts

2. Robert Lewandowski | 580 pts

3. Jorginho | 460 pts

4. Karim Benzema | 239 pts

5. N'Golo Kante | 186 pts

6. Cristiano Ronaldo | 178 pts

7. Mohamed Salah | 121 pts

8. Kevin De Bruyne | 73 pts

9. Kylian Mbappe | 58 pts

10. Gianluigi Donnarumma | 36 pts

We'll wait...


Lionel Messi now has an astounding seven Ballons d'Or, comfortably edging out rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five trophies to his name (and who notably did not attend tonight's ceremony, but not because he finished sixth or anything). Not that anyone is keeping count, though.



👑 Lionel Messi wins Ballon d'Or


Congratulations, Leo! He lifts his seventh Ballon d'Or this year, with Robert Lewandowski taking a second-placed finish.

Lionel Messi lifted the Copa America for the first time in his career this summer with Argentina, and completed a move from Barcelona to PSG. Does this make him the official GOAT now?

🏟 Chelsea win Club of the Year


Not entirely sure how voting works for this inaugural "Club of the Year" award. Perhaps it is awarded to whichever team won the Champions League last? Or whichever team has N'Golo Kante in it?

Ruh-roh... 😬


2021 Yashin Trophy nominees


Gianluigi Donnarumma beats out the likes of Edouard Mendy (2nd), Jan Oblak (3rd), Ederson (4th), Manuel Neuer (5th), Emiliano Martinez (6th).

🧤 Gianluigi Donnarumma wins Yashin Trophy


Putellas beats out Miedema, Kerr and Hermoso


What an extraordinary year it's been for Women's Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas, who is crowned the winner ahead of stars Jenni Hermoso, Sam Kerr and Vivianne Miedema.

Congratulations, Alexia!

🏆 Robert Lewandowski wins Striker of the Year


Congratulations, Robert! The Bayern and Poland striker wins one of two new awards tonight. Is this justice for him not winning the Ballon d'Or in 2020, when the ceremony was cancelled due to the disruptions caused by Covid-19 ?

🏆 Pedri wins Kopa Trophy


False alarm: Daft Punk are not at the awards!


Instead, it was Formula One duo Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon. Oh well.

The ceremony is about to start!


Finally. We have arrived. This blog has felt like it's been going on for five years.

Here we go!

Spider-Man sighting at the Ballon d'Or!


Here is Tom Holland, the trophy boyfriend of Zendaya. He's here suited and booted accompanying his Spider-Man co-star at the ceremony, where he presumably will be the only one cheering for (the not-nominated) Tottenham captain Harry Kane.

Tom Holland Ballon d'Or 2021

Lionel Messi has arrived!


Here he is, accompanied by his entire family. You don't turn up in that kind of tuxedo and your entire clan if you're expecting to leave the show empty-handed. 👀

🚨 Zendaya is here 🚨


Attention. Attention. Zendaya has arrived at the Ballon d'Or ceremony. Presumably it is to accompany her rumoured Tottenham-supporting boyfriend Tom Holland, who is also here. But also she is Zendaya. She does not need to have her presence anywhere explained. She is an entity. The entity of Zendaya.

Hellooooo, Simon Kjaer! 👋


Simon Kjaer Ballon d'Or 2021

Fabio Cannavaro arrives at the Ballon d'Or ceremony! 🇮🇹


Are Daft Punk re-uniting for tonight's ceremony?


To be fair, these could also just be two random strangers fancily dressed in matching tuxedos and helmets.

We've reached the end of the first half of the countdown!


And it's now the perfect time for France Football to announce a "break". These things are the epitome of short and sweet!

Here are the players who make the top 10, organised alphabetically: Benzema, De Bruyne, Donnarumma, Jorginho, Kante, Lewandowski, Mbappe, Messi, Ronaldo, Salah.

We're getting closer... ⏰


France Football are not ones to delay proceedings at all, you know. They're always usually straight-to-the-point with no frills or dilly-dallying.

1️⃣6️⃣ - Neymar


Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star Neymar was recently laid low with an ankle injury and he comes in at 16th in the ranking, just ahead of former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez.

Here is a look behind the scenes 🧐


The countdown continues, but it won't be long until we are into the business end of things.

Number 1️⃣8️⃣ - Simon Kjaer


What a breakthrough season for Pedri! 😍


Not bad for a teenager!

And in joint 2️⃣6️⃣th place...


  • Nicolo Barella
  • Gerard Moreno
  • Ruben Dias

Ranking countdown has begun! ⏳


And the first confirmed rankings are....

=2️⃣9️⃣Cesar Azpilicueta

= 2️⃣9️⃣ Luka Modric

Ballon d'Or 2021 Power Rankings


So the big question is: who is going to win?

It's been one of the tighest battles for years, but of course Lionel Messi is still well in the mix. However, Robert Lewandowski - who would surely have won in 2020 had there been an award - has maintained incredible consistency for Bayern Munich.

Then, of course, there is the European Championship and Champions League winner Jorginho, whose midfield machinations helped Italy and Chelsea to glory this year.

Check out GOAL's Ballon d'Or Power Rankings!

It's Ballon d'Or day! 🏆⚽️🙌


The Ballon d'Or is one of the most prestigious individual awards in football and it is back for 2021, having been cancelled in 2020.

Some of the biggest names in the game, past and present, have descended on Paris for today's award ceremony, which will crown the best male and female players in the past year.

Lionel Messi is looking to add a record seventh Ballon d'Or to his collection, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward faces stiff competition from the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho and Karim Benzema. Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar are among the starts in the running so it is certainly a packed field.

GOAL will bring you all the latest news and updates from the ceremony, including the winners of both the men's and women's awards, as well as the players who win the Kopa Trophy and the Yashin Award.

Stay tuned!