Lionel Messi won the men’s Ballon d’Or for a record-extending seventh time on Monday, ending the year in style after a brilliant final season with Barcelona and earning his first major international trophy with Argentina.
Alexia Putellas became the third winner of the women’s award for an outstanding season with Barcelona and Spain.
The 34-year-old Messi led Argentina to the Copa America title in July after losing in four major international finals.
Messi finished with 613 points to top prolific Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski on 580.
Awarded by France Football magazine, the Ballon d’Or has been given out to men every year since 1956 when Stanley Matthews won.
The 33-year-old Lewandowski set a single-season scoring record for the Bundesliga with 41 goals – one more than late Germany great Gerd Muller – when he scored in the last minute of the last game.
Lewandowski scored in 19 consecutive games in all competitions for Bayern from February to September and he just missed out on equaling the record of scoring in 16 Bundesliga games in a row. Overall, he already has 25 goals in 20 games for Bayern this season.
His 11 goals in 12 games for Poland this year took his international tally to 74 in 128 games, just six less than Messi.
Chelsea and Italy midfielder Jorginho was third with 460 points after helping the London club win the Champions League and his nation win the European Championship. Real Madrid and France forward Karim Benzema was fourth on 239.
Putellas helped Barca win the treble and scored 26 goals in 42 games overall. The midfielder netted in the Champions League final against Chelsea, and in August she was named UEFA women’s player of the year.
The only previous women’s award winners are Norway striker Ada Hegerberg in 2018, and U.S. forward Megan Rapinoe in 2019. The 2020 awards were canceled because the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season.
MLS: Bruce Arena won a record fourth Major League Soccer Coach of the Year award after leading the New England Revolution to a league-record 73 points.
The 70-year-old, a member of the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame, also won the award with D.C. United in 1997 and the LA Galaxy in 2009 and 2011. He tied Sigi Schmid’s record of 240 regular-season wins.
New England hosts New York City on Tuesday in the playoffs. Arena is seeking his sixth MLS title and is trying to become the first coach to win with three different teams.
He received 57.97% of the vote by MLS club technical staff, media and current players. Colorado’s Robin Fraser was second with 20.8% and Seattle’s Brian Schmetzer was third with 4%