Ballon d'Or 2021: All that you need to know
The biggest names in world football will be gathering for the prestigious Ballon d'Or 2021 ceremony in Paris tonight. The event returns after a year's hiatus as France Football had decided to cancel the same last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The best men's player and women's player will be adjudged after voting by journalists from around the world. Here's more.
Key details about the awards
France Football has released a 30-man shortlist for the 2021 awards. Besides naming the best men's and women's player, France Football will also present the Kopa Trophy to the best performing player under 21 years of age and the Yashin Trophy, presented to the best goal-keeper.
Timing, TV listing and venue
The Ballon d'Or 2021 ceremony will be held tonight at 1:00 AM IST. The ceremony will be held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. The Ballon d'Or ceremony will be telecast on the Star Sports Network. One can stream the same live on Hotstar (paid subscription).
Messi could land a seventh Ballon d'Or crown
Lionel Messi, who has won a record six Ballon d'Ors, is being touted to win a seventh award. Messi netted 38 goals in the 2020-21 season, including the most in La Liga (30). He helped Barca win the Copa del Rey. Messi helped Argentina win the Copa America honor. He won the Player of the Tournament and the Golden Boot at the Copa America.
Lewandowski and Jorginho are the ideal candidates
Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski racked up 48 goals in the 2020-21 season, helping his side win Bundesliga and DFL-Supercup. He has already scored 25 goals in 2021-22. Chelsea mid-fielder Jorginho can bag the award after winning the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup. He also won the Euro 2020 with Italy. In August, he won UEFA Men's Player of the Year 2020-21.
Here are the Ballon d'Or nominees
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea, Spain) Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan, Italy) Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, France) Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus, Italy) Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City, Belgium) Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus, Italy) Ruben Dias (Manchester City, Portugal) Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG, Italy) Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United, Portugal) Phil Foden (Manchester City, England) Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund, Norway) Jorginho (Chelsea, Italy) Harry Kane (Tottenham, England) N'Golo Kante (Chelsea, France)
Here are the nominees
Simon Kjaer (AC Milan, Denmark) Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, Poland) Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea, Belgium) Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City, Algeria) Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan, Argentina) Kylian Mbappe (PSG, France) Lionel Messi (PSG, Argentina) Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia) Gerard Moreno (Villarreal, Spain) Mason Mount (Chelsea, England) Neymar (PSG, Brazil) Pedri (Barcelona, Spain) Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Portugal) Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt)
Sterling and Suarez complete the list
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City, England) and Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid, Uruguay) complete the list.