Ballon d’Or 2021: How to watch, date, time, favorites and finalists

2023 CECAFA U18: Group A Standings and Upcoming Matches
November 29, 2021

The 2021 men’s and women’s Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) winners will be unveiled today. The best young men’s player (Kopa Trophy) and top men’s goalkeeper (Yashin Trophy) will also be recognized.

Lionel Messi could win a record seventh men’s Ballon d’Or, though Bayern Munich and Poland forward Robert Lewandowski is also a favorite, especially after missing out last year when the Ballon d’Or was it was scratched.

Messi won the Copa America with Argentina in the summer, while Kante and Jorginho both helped Chelsea win the Champions League.

Messi was the last player to win the award, earning the honor in 2019, and he and eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo have shared 11 of the last 12 Ballon d’Or trophies. Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric is the only man to have broken their duopoly, winning in 2018, but he is not among the 30 finalists in 2021. The first men’s Ballon d’Or was awarded in 1956.

Ferre had told the New York Times: “Ronaldo has only one ambition, and that is to retire with more Ballons d’Or than Messi, and I know that because he has told me.”

In the last hour, Ronaldo has tweeted: “Pascal Ferre lied, he used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication he works for.”

That Cristiano Ronaldo statement in full:

“Today’s outcome explains why Pascal Ferre made statements last week, when he stated that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Ballons d’Or than Lionel Messi.

“Pascal Ferre lied, he used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication he works for. It is unacceptable that the person responsible for awarding such a prestigious prize could lie in this way, in absolute disrespect for someone who has always respected France Football and the Ballon d’Or.

“And he lied again today, justifying my absence from the Gala with an alleged quarantine that has no reason to exist.

“I always want to congratulate those who win, with the sportsmanship and fair play that have guided my career since its beginning, and I do so because I’m never against anyone.

“I always win for myself and for the clubs I represent, I win for myself and for those who love me. I don’t win against anyone.

“The biggest ambition of my career is to win national and international titles for the clubs I represent and for the national team of my country.

“The biggest ambition of my career is to set a good example for all those who are or who want to be professional footballers. The biggest ambition of my career is to leave my name written in golden letters in the history of world football.

“I will end by saying that my focus is already on Manchester United’s next game and on everything that, together with my team-mates and our fans, we can still achieve this season. The rest? The rest is just the rest…”

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