Paris Saint-Germain(PSG) forward Lionel Messi was awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or for a record-extending seventh time in a ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday.

The award honors male players considered to have performed the best over the previous year.

The winner is determined through voting by football journalists, coaches, and captains of national teams.

Messi, who led Argentina to Copa America success in Brazil in July for their first major trophy since 1993, spent the majority of 2020 at Barcelona before his 21-year stay at the club ended when he left on a free in August and joined PSG soon after.

Messi claimed his seventh award after receiving 613 points in the voting, with Lewandowski not far behind in second on 580.

Chelsea’s Jorginho came in third with 460 points, ahead of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and his Blues team-mate, N’Golo Kante.

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The Pole has been in sensational form over the past two years and would have been a strong favourite for the 2020 award had it not been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He scored 41 goals in the Bundesliga last season in just 29 appearances to break Gerd Muller’s long-standing record of 40.

The Ballon d’Or was not awarded last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ballon d’Or is awarded annually by France Football, with FIFA’s The Best a separate honour handed out every year — Messi won that award for the first time in 2020.

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