The annual award ceremony held by France Football returned after it was suspended last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This year's awards ceremony included the four previous awards handed out in the 2019 iteration as well as two new awards: the Striker of the Year and Best Club.

Ballon D'Or 2021 Highlights

  • Award resumed after having been cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Lionel Messi won a record seventh Ballon d'Or award.
  • Matildas captain Sam Kerr finished third in the Ballon d'Or feminine category.

The full report of the Ballon d'Or can be found on France Football's website.

The lavish ceremony was held on Monday in Paris at the Theatre du Chatelet.  In attendance was not only many of football's A-List but also a number of Hollywood A-Listers including Zendaya and Tom Holland.  The ceremony had a record televised viewing of two million people.

Winners were announced from a list of nominees previously released on October 8, 2021.  Voting was done by a group of journalists from around the world who picked their first, second and third place finishers.  Winners were those with the highest cumulative points from these selections.

The five categories in this year's awards were the men and women's Ballon d'Or, the Kopa Trophy, the Yashin Trophy, Striker of the Year and Best Club. 

Men's Ballon d'Or

The men's Ballon d'Or was won by Lionel Messi, his seventh time claiming the award.  Cristiano Ronaldo, who with five wins is the second most awarded player, ended up in sixth place.  It is Ronaldo's first time out of the top three since 2010.

Rank Player Club(s) Country Points
1  Lionel Messi  Barcelona
 Paris Saint-Germain
 Argentina 613
2  Robert Lewandowski  Bayern Munich  Poland 580
3  Jorginho  Chelsea  Italy 460
4  Karim Benzema  Real Madrid  France 239
5  N'Golo Kanté  Chelsea  France 186
6  Cristiano Ronaldo  Juventus
 Manchester United
 Portugal 178
7  Mohamed Salah  Liverpool  Egypt 121
8  Kevin De Bruyne  Manchester City  Belgium 73
9  Kylian Mbappé  Paris Saint-Germain  France 58
10  Gianluigi Donnarumma  Milan
 Paris Saint-Germain
 Italy 36
11  Erling Haaland  Borussia Dortmund Norway 33
12  Romelu Lukaku  Inter Milan
Belgium 26
13  Giorgio Chiellini  Juventus  Italy 26
14  Leonardo Bonucci  Juventus  Italy 18
15  Raheem Sterling  Manchester City  England 10
16  Neymar  Paris Saint-Germain  Brazil 9
17  Luis Suárez  Atlético Madrid  Uruguay 8
18  Simon Kjær  Milan  Denmark 8
19  Mason Mount  Chelsea  England 7
20  Riyad Mahrez  Manchester City  Algeria 7
21  Bruno Fernandes  Manchester United   Portugal 6
21  Lautaro Martínez  Inter Milan  Argentina 6
23  Harry Kane  Tottenham Hotspur  England 4
24  Pedri  Barcelona  Spain 3
25  Phil Foden  Manchester City  England 2
26  Gerard Moreno  Villarreal  Spain 1
26  Nicolò Barella  Inter Milan  Italy 1
26  Rúben Dias  Manchester City  Portugal 1
29  Luka Modrić  Real Madrid  Croatia 0
29  Cesar Azpilicueta  Chelsea



Women's Ballon d'Or

This year's top award went to Barcelona linchpin Alexia Putellas.  Putellas was the first Spaniard (male or female) to win the award since 1960.  Her country and club team-mate Jenni Hermoso finished second.  Matildas' captain Sam Kerr finishing third, her highest ranking in three nominations.

Rank Player Club(s) Country Points
1  Alexia Putellas  Barcelona  Spain 186
2  Jennifer Hermoso  Barcelona  Spain 84
3  Sam Kerr  Chelsea  Australia 46
4  Vivianne Miedema  Arsenal  Netherlands 46
5  Lieke Martens  Barcelona  Netherlands 40
6  Christine Sinclair Portland Thorns  Canada 36
7 Pernille Harder  Chelsea  Denmark 33
8  Ashley Lawrence  Paris Saint-Germain  Canada 26
9  Jessie Fleming  Chelsea  Canada 25
10  Fran Kirby  Chelsea  England 22
11 Magdalena Eriksson  Chelsea  Sweden 20
12 Christiane Endler  Paris Saint-Germain
 Chile 19
13 Stina Blackstenius  BK Häcken  Sweden 10
14 Sam Mewis  Manchester City
 North Carolina Courage
 United States of America 8
15 Irene Paredes  Paris Saint-Germain
 Spain 8
16 Ellen White  Manchester City  England 4
17 Kadidiatou Diani  Paris Saint-Germain  France 3
18 Marie-Antoinette Katoto  Paris Saint-Germain  France 3
19 Sandra Paños  Barcelona  Spain 3
20  Wendie Renard  Lyon  France 2

Kopa Trophy

The Kopa Trophy is awarded to the best male player under the age of 21 and was first awarded in 2018.  It is named after French footballer Raymond Kopa.

This year's winner was Spain and Barcelona midfielder Pedri who took home the prize by getting more than double the amount of points of second placed Englishman Jude Bellingham.  

Rank Player Club(s) Country Points
1  Pedri  Barcelona  Spain 89
2  Jude Bellingham  Borussia Dortmund  England 39
3  Jamal Musiala  Bayern Munich  Germany 38
4  Nuno Mendes  Sporting CP
 Paris Saint-Germain
 Portugal 23
5  Mason Greenwood  Manchester United  England 15
6  Bukayo Saka  Arsenal  England 8
7  Florian Wirtz  Bayer Leverkusen  Germany 8
8  Ryan Gravenberch  Ajax  Netherlands 3
9  Giovanni Reyna  Borussia Dortmund  United States of America 1
 Jérémy Doku  Rennes  Belgium

Yashin Trophy

The Yashin Trophy, named after Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin, is awarded to the best performing goalkeeper.  Like the Kopa Trophy it was recently created in 2019.  Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was not even nominated two years ago, won the top prize. 

Rank Player Club(s) Country Points
1  Gianluigi Donnarumma  Milan
 Paris Saint-Germain
 Italy 594
2  Édouard Mendy  Chelsea  Senegal 404
3  Jan Oblak  Atlético Madrid  Slovenia 155
4  Ederson  Manchester City  Brazil 93
5  Manuel Neuer  Bayern Munich  Germany 91
6  Emiliano Martínez  Aston Villa  Argentina 90
7  Kasper Schmeichel  Leicester City  Denmark 37
8  Thibaut Courtois  Real Madrid  Belgium  29
8  Keylor Navas  Paris Saint-Germain  Costa Rica 29
10  Samir Handanović  Inter Milan  Slovenia 8

Striker of the Year

The newly created Striker of the Year was awarded to Robert Lewandowski.  The Bayern Munich player scored a staggering 59 goals during the evaluation period.  The general opinion is that had the awards ceremony occurred last year, the Polish striker would have won the top prize of the Ballon d'Or.

Speaking after winning this year's Ballon d'Or, Messi said the following of Lewandowski:

"Robert, you deserve your Ballon d'Or. Last year, everyone was in agreement to say that you were the big winner of this award," Messi said during his speech.

"Hopefully France Football will give you the 2020 Ballon d'Or. We all believe you deserved it and I hope you can have it at home."

Lewandowski had to settle for the inaugural Striker of the Year trophy.

Rank Player Club Country Total goals
1  Robert Lewandowski  Bayern Munich  Poland  59

Best Club of the Year

Chelsea Football Club was named the 2021 Club of the Year.  The club had both its men's and women's teams feature in the final of the UEFA Champions League, with the men's side winning the top European club prize. 

The women won last year's FA Women's Super League while their male counterparts currently sit atop the Premier League.  The women also won the League Cup and Community Shield whilst the men were runners-up in the FA Cup.

Five male players and five female players were shortlisted for their respective Ballon d'Or awards.  Chelsea keeper Édouard Mendy finished second in the Yashin Trophy. 


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Further details of the awards ceremony can be found using this link.