[골닷컴] Reporter Basion = The 2021 Ballon d’Or awards ceremony hosted by the French magazine ‘French Football’ was held at the Theater du Châtelet in Paris, France on the 29th (local time). Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or, breaking the record for the seventh and most wins in his career. Robert Lewandowski, who emerged as a strong candidate along with Messi, was awarded the new ‘Striker of the Year Award’ this year.
The Ballon d’Or is an honorable award given to the world’s best soccer player every year since its foundation in 1956 by French Football. Last year’s Ballon d’Or was canceled in the aftermath of the coronavirus, but resumed this year.
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Prior to the awards ceremony, the 30 prominent finalists were revealed. In particular, Messi, Lewandowski, and Benzema were selected as strong candidates, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, N’Golo Kante, Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah.
Lewandowski, who stayed in second place in the final ranking after Messi, has no choice but to be disappointed. In the 2019/20 season, Lewandowski scored 34 goals and 5 assists in 31 Bundesliga appearances and 41 goals and 11 assists in 29 league matches last season, leading the league’s top scorer as well as Bayern Munich. He was a strong candidate for the Ballon d’Or last year, but the award was canceled and the results were not seen. This season, he has recorded 25 goals and 4 assists in 20 appearances in all competitions, but this year’s honor has been passed on to Messi.
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Lewandowski won the Striker of the Year award after losing the Ballon d’Or. As a new award this year, Lewandowski is the first recipient of the award. Standing at the ceremony, he said, “I am very proud of this trophy. You know what it means to be prepared to score goals. Those goals are worthy of thanks to team-mates and coaches. Without them it would have been impossible. I am also grateful to my family for supporting me. It means a lot to me. It allows us to keep moving forward,” he said.