Lionel Messi extends record by winning seventh Ballon d'Or
Press Association

Lionel Messi extends record by winning seventh Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi already owned the record for the most Ballon d'Or wins ever, and he extended it Monday by winning a seventh.

The award recognizes the world's best soccer player of the year and is the most prestigious in the sport. Messi has finished first or second in voting in 12 out of the last 14 years.

Messi, 34, played out his final season with Barcelona in 2021 and became a free agent in July. He joined French club Paris Saint-Germain of Ligue 1 in August. In addition to his club performances, Messi helped lead Argentina to a win in the 2021 Copa América and won the tournament's Best Player Award after scoring four goals.

"It's incredible to be here again. Two years ago I thought it was the last time. Winning the Copa America was key," Messi said after winning the award, via ESPN. "It is a special year for me with this Copa America title. It meant a lot to win at the Maracana stadium and I was so happy to celebrate with the people from Argentina.

Messi narrowly edged out Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich for the honor and now as two more Ballon d'Or victories than Cristiano Ronaldo. No player other than Messi or Ronaldo has ever won more than three.

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