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Lionel Messi said that Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski deserved last year’s awards and he hopes that France Football, the presenters of the award. Messi, who won the Copa America with Argentina, said that Lewandowski deserved last year’s award and it was an honour for him to be competing with the Polish striker.

“I’d like to mention Robert, it’s been a real honour to compete with him,” Messi said at the award ceremony. “You deserve your Ballon d’Or. Last year everyone agreed that you were the winner. I think France Football should give you your Ballon d’Or so you can have it like you deserve.

“Hopefully France Football can give it to you to have in your home, because you were the true winner if it weren’t for the pandemic. You should have one in your house too.”

This was the seventh time that Messi won the coveted individual award.

“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 at Paris’s Theatre du Chatelet.

“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.

“I don’t know if it’s the best year of my life, I’ve had a long career, but it was a special one with the title with Argentina after the tough times and the criticism.”

Messi, who joined Paris St Germain on a free transfer from Barcelona during the close season after finishing as La Liga’s top scorer with the Spanish club, collected 613 points, with Bayern Munich’s Lewandowski, named best striker on Monday, getting 580.

Jorginho, who won the Champions League with Chelsea and the European championship with Italy, ended up third on 460, ahead of France’s Karim Benzema and Ngolo Kante in fourth and fifth places respectively.

Chelsea, named club of the year, also had keeper Edouard Mendy finishing second in the Yashin trophy behind Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The women’s Ballon d’Or went to Alexia Putellas after the Spain midfielder guided Barcelona to Champions League glory.

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India today

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