Lionel Messi has reportedly already been confirmed as the 2021 Ballon d’Or winner, and the man himself is aware of the news..
RTP Sports announced that Messi will receive the famous Golden Ball at this year’s ceremony in Paris on 29th November – a record-extending seventh award for the Argentine.
The 34-year-old has done the customary interview with France Football magazine, pipping the likes of long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo, Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski to arguably the most prestigious individual prize in world football.
This latest Golden Ball moves Messi two ahead of Ronaldo’s tally of five, and four ahead of Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten, who have won the award three times each.
The forecast award for Messi means that his and Ronaldo’s dominance of the Golden Ball will continue for a while longer at least, with Luka Modric the only other player to receive the accolade in the last 12 years – excluding 2020, when the prize was not awarded due to the pandemic.
The Argentine enjoyed another stellar year after leading his country to a Copa America triumph – his first international title, and was La Liga’s top scorer for Barcelona last season with 30 goals.
He made a shock move to Paris Saint Germain in the summer after “financial and structural obstacles” meant that he could not sign a new deal with Barcelona.
Messi is still waiting to score his first Ligue 1 goal for PSG, but has found the net 3 times in 3 Champions League appearances this season.
He scored a fine individual strike against Manchester City and followed this up with a brace in a 3-2 win over RB Leipzig.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men are back in action on Saturday when they face Bordeaux, hoping to build on their eight-point lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table..