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Ballon d’Or: Lionel Messi Wins Record Seventh Time

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Ballon d’Or: Lionel Messi Wins Record Seventh Time

Lionel Messi has won a historic seventh Ballon d’Or after picking up the prestigious individual award at a ceremony in Paris.

The 34-year-old, who also won in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019, has lifted the prize handed to the best player in world football more times than any other male player in its history, two clear of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi beat Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski who finished in second place, while Chelsea midfielder Jorginho was ranked third in the voting after winning the 2020/21 Champions League and Euro 2020 with Italy.

“I don’t know how many years I have left, but I hope there will still be many because I am having enormous fun,” Messi said at the France Football ceremony before praising Lewandowski, who was the favourite to win the 2020 Ballon d’Or until it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“You deserve your Ballon d’Or,” the Argentine added. “Last year, everyone was in agreement to say that you were the big winner.”

Messi registered 41 goals and 17 assists for club and country in 2021 with the 34-year-old helping Argentina win the Copa America, the first major international honour of his senior career.

Leo Messi wins Ballon d'Or number six

Barcelona’s perilous financial situation forced Messi out of the Camp Nou in August following the expiration of his contract with the Argentine making the stunning switch to Paris Saint-Germain.

Alexia Putellas won the 2021 Women’s Ballon d’Or after an excellent year which saw the 27-year-old help Barcelona Femeni lift the 2020/21 Women’s Champions League with teammate Jennifer Hermoso finishing second and Chelsea’s Sam Kerr rounding off the top three.

The result means Luka Modric remains the only player to have broken Messi and Ronaldo’s 13-year-old stranglehold on the Ballon d’Or as Lewandowski was overlooked once more.

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Pedri picked up the Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best male player age 21 or under, with Borussia Dortmund and England midfielder Jude Bellingham finishing second in the voting.

Meanwhile, Gianluigi Donnarumma won the 2021 Yashin Trophy award handed to the best goalkeeper of the year ahead of Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy.

BALLON D’OR TOP 10:

  • 1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona/PSG)
  • 2. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
  • 3. Jorginho (Chelsea)
  • 4. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
  • 5. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
  • 6. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Manchester United)
  • 7. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
  • 8. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
  • 9. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
  • 10. Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain)

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Real Madrid Stun Manchester City With Historic Comeback

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Real Madrid Stun Manchester City With Historic Comeback

Manchester City suffered one of the most remarkable Champions League collapses as Real Madrid came back from the abyss to set up a final showdown with Liverpool.

City were two goals ahead on aggregate going into the 90th minute after Riyad Mahrez’s strike had added to their 4-3 first-leg win last week.

And then Rodrygo happened.

The Brazilian substitute turned home Karim Benzema’s left-wing ball from close range in the final minute – with Real’s very first shot on target.

And 90 seconds later he levelled the tie with a header into the top corner after Marco Asensio flicked on Dani Carvajal’s cross.

That sent an already rowdy Bernabeu into absolute euphoria.

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City, who thought they were going through to a second consecutive all-English Champions League final, were shell-shocked.

Both sides had chances to win the tie before the full-time whistle. Ederson denied Rodrygo a quick-fire hat-trick and then an unmarked Phil Foden fired over inside the box.

And so to extra time the game went – and it was Real who got the decisive goal in maybe the greatest Champions League semi-final ever.

Real Madrid Stun Manchester City With Historic Comeback

Real Madrid Stun Manchester City With Historic Comeback

Benzema beat Ruben Dias to a loose ball in the box and was brought down by the City defender. He stepped up to take the penalty himself and scored his 43rd goal of the season. There is no doubt it is the most important.

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Real’s Thibaut Courtois, who was by far the busier keeper, tipped away Foden’s header with Fernandinho inches away from scoring the rebound – but City could not find a goal to send it to penalties.

That sets up a repeat of the most memorable Champions League final of recent years, when Real beat Liverpool 3-1 in 2018.

For City and manager Pep Guardiola now, the Premier League title – they sit one point above Liverpool with four games to go – is their only target.

 

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They Killed Me Second Time In 4 Months – Mino Raiola Finally Breaks Silence Amidst Death Rumor

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They Killed Me Second Time In 4 Months - Mino Raiola Finally Breaks Silence Amidst Death Rumor

The prominent football agent Mino Raiola has tweeted to say he is alive, in response to multiple reports in Italy and then rehashed across other European media outlets that he had died.

The Italy-born Dutch national, one of football’s most powerful and high-earning agents, tweeted: “Current health status for the ones wondering: pissed off second time in 4 months they kill me. Seem also able to ressuscitate [sic].”

His statement came after Dr Alberto Zangrillo from San Raffaele hospital in Milan told the news agency Ansa: “I’m outraged by the phone calls from pseudo-journalists speculating on the life of a man who is fighting to survive.”

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Raiola, whose clients include Paul Pogba, Erling Haaland and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is understood to have been living with a serious illness since January.

A tweet from Raiola’s official account in January said he had undergone medical checks requiring anaesthesia, but that he had not had emergency surgery.

 

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BREAKING NEWS: Mino Raiola Dies At Age 54

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BREAKING NEWS: Mino Raiola Dies At Age 54

Mino Raiola has passed away aged 54 following an illness.

The Italian was one of the biggest football agents in the world, representing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Erling Haalandf, Marco Verratti, Moise Kean, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Mario Balotelli any more more high-profile figures.

The news was announced by reporters in Italy on Thursday.

Raiola played a role in many big-money transfers during his successful career, such as Pogba’s record-breaking move from Juventus to Manchester United in the summer of 2016.

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