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Top Favorites for Winning The 2022 FIFA World Cup

top favorites in fifa world cup 2022

The World Cup in Qatar is not far away. The entire football community is hyped because of the upcoming competition, and there isn’t a single fan on the globe who isn’t making projections currently.

We have everything in place before the start of the campaign. The FIFA World Cup 2022 schedule is ready, the venues are known, and all the participating nations are already revealed, the draws have been made, meaning that we already have a frame in which some projections are possible.

The main question among all the fans is: which team will win the World Cup title? 

We have several favorites that need to be mentioned, and over the following few lines, we will run over all of them.

The top favorite is Brazil. The five-time champions have been topping all the bookmakers and analysts’ lists. Tite’s unit handled the World Cup qualifiers in the best possible way, smashing and bashing every rival that stood in their way. 

When looking at the roster, we need to say that the Brazilians look impressive in all lines, especially upfront with Neymar Júnior, Coutinho, Raphinha, Richarlison, etc.

The second favorites are the current reigning champs, France. This crew has fantastic individuals who have played for a long time and know one another very well. Mbappe, Pogba, Kante, Benzema, and head coach Didier Deschamps has at least one superstar in every line of the team.

France’s ambitions are the highest possible, and anything else besides the victory in Qatar would be considered a failure. They adore playing hard and physical football, with high intensity on the pitch. 

Belgium is on the radar too. This may be the last chance for one of the most talented generations in football history to earn silverware. The Devils have been near the top in the previous 10 years but never managed to reach the throne. 

De Bruyne, Lukaku, Hazard, Witsel, we really won’t mention any more of their names in this text because we could go on and on and on. The bottom point is that Belgium constantly played well, but never won the title, and this might be their five minutes of glory.

Argentina surprised most of the fans with a Copa America title won in Brazil last year, against the hosts in the finals. Lionel Messi will have a chance for a swan song, as well as several other of his teammates. 

Gauchos are very experienced, with strong chemistry and perfectly balanced tactical plans. Messi constantly draws the guard’s attention, while Di Maria and the rest of the forwards exploit that and create chaos. 

Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo crave another international trophy. It would mean that Ronaldo has more than Messi and that would be a big plus in his GOAT race with the Argentinian.

But not only that, the thing here is that Portugal has sensational names, and when looking at the roster, we can see that their players are the leaders in the clubs and massive stars. Apart from the individual quality, a fantastic tactical approach is another reason why this team might go all the way. 

Germany‘s glory days are behind, but you mustn’t disrespect one of the most successful teams ever. Die Mannschaft still has enough power to eliminate any team, but they have been below the standards over the year or two. 

And at last, Spain. The Red Fury has a gifted unit with unlimited potential. They have youngsters like Gavi and Pedri, who will boss the midfield for the next decade but are also capable of setting the pace and controlling the game right now.

The head coach Luis Enrique knows how to deal with them because he personally perfected the system of play in Barcelona. Both Gavi and Pedri are Blaugrana’s kids, and they perfectly fit Enriques’ plan for the future. 

In short, these were the top contenders for winning the 2022 Qatar World Cup. We expect more content on this matter in the near future, so stay tuned and follow us.

Differences Between Esports and Sports

Differences Between Esports and Sports
Photo Credit: licdn.com

Sports generally is a form of activity or a game played by a group of people divided into various groups or teams to play against each other physically by entertaining themselves, fans, and maybe the spectators. 

It can be performed in an open or closed place called a field, but there is always a boundary between the players and fans or officiating teams watching them. Sports or Esports are usually entertaining games, but Esports are video games. You can engage in both sports and esports betting, such as league of legends betting.

What Are Esports?

Esports is a short word for Electronic sports, a type of sports competition involving video games. It is in the form of multiplayer games designed mainly between professional players, individually or as a team. These events also translate to bet markets, like the league of legends bets.

Although organized competition games have existed among amateurs for a long time, it is part of video game culture until the late 2000s, when professionals participated in games in an event streamed life and saw an increment in popularity. 

In 2010, esports was a trending factor in the gaming industry, allowing designers to design games for the industry. One of the most popular video genres linked with esports was (MOBA) multiplayer online battle arena, fighting, card, real-time strategy games, etc. 

Esports can be played between two teams, and they create their own rules and guidelines governing the game. In the case of students who don’t like playing physical games or traditional athletes can join games in any variety based on their interest and terms to compete in a multitude of games, from Minecraft and Super Smash Brothers to Rocket League, Valorant, Chess, and more.

Esports helps in building a community which is one of its benefits. As mentioned above, it helps students join a team and learn new skills. They create opportunities for people by building connections across diverse populations. 

One of the goals of esports is to allow people to play together in a shared place, which can be a virtual or physical space like an esports arena. 

An important benefit of playing an esports game is that it connects students playing together even though they don’t hang out before and even alumni. It helps to build community in an environment where they are already on their laptops, phones, or gaming consoles. They are even useful when you want to place some lol bets.

What are Sports?

Sport is a form of performing any physical activity or game that helps improve physical ability and skills. At the same time, it also provides enjoyment to every participant and also to people watching. Over a hundred types of sports exist, from those which can be in the form of a single contestant through to those with many participants. 

It could be in the form of a team or competing individually in any game. Generally, sports are governed by a set of rules and regulations which serve as fair competition between teams or individuals, allowing accurate decisions to select a winner. A winner can be determined either by scoring a goal or crossing a line first, depending on the type of Sport and the rules laid down. 

However, technology has played an important role in Sports. It has been a necessary part of sports like motorsport, soccer, rugby, etc. It is used to improve game performance; some use it off-field for officiating. 

Technology has made it easier in sports in recent years by making decisions in sports matches to be taken or reviewed on and outside the field using instant replays. In some sports, players can even challenge decisions made by the referee. 

Major Areas They are Different

Gameplay and Experience

Since esports are more like Video games, their gameplay is very easy to understand to play, and it allows participants to set rules before commencing any game. It does not require any experience to play while Sports is played in the form of a team or group of people, and since it has rules in playing them, it might require learning from an experienced player. 

Physical Movement

Sports require more physical movement since it’s based on physical activity or a game, so there will be movement during the games by players. At the same time, Esports also has physical movement in which players sit for a prolonged time in one particular position, unphysiological gestures, and some movements of small muscle groups. 

Support

In sports, sportsmen and women improve their sports lives, most especially when they get to the edge of their opponents by accepting emotional support. In contrast, support in Esports helps children in many ways, like communication, performance skills, and confidence. 

Types

There are many types of Esports, such as PVP (Player Versus Player), First person shooter, Sports games, Multiplayer online battle arenas, and so on. There are many types of sports, such as Football, Chess, Volleyball, Table tennis, Basketball, and so on. 

Top Group 1 Races Held At Caulfield Racecourse

Top Group 1 Races
Photo Credit: heraldsun.com.au

The headquarters of the Melbourne Racing Club, Caulfield Racecourse is one of the most famous racecourses in Australia. It is known as “The Heath” to locals as when races first occurred there, jockeys had to ride the horses through scrub, heath, and sandhills. Not quite the same as it is today. The racecourse is located in the suburb of Caulfield, and not far from the Princes Highway in Melbourne, which has many nearby exits to conveniently get to the course. 1859 is when the first races occurred there and as mentioned, it was not an easy ride.

Luckily, over the years the track has been upgraded continuously to what you see it as today and even has a recreation area that is available to the public when races aren’t being held. The track itself is 2.08 kilometers in circumference and is a turf track.

Caulfield Cup

The Caulfield Cup, which was first run in 1879, is one of the most popular races in Australia, especially at the Caulfield Racecourse. The distance of the race is 2400 meters and has a current total prize purse of $5,000,000AUD. This year, the race will be run on Saturday, October 15th. Last year’s winner was Incentivise, who also won the Turnbull Stakes and the Makybe Diva Stakes. He was a favorite for the Melbourne Cup in 2021 but was narrowly beaten by Verry Elleegant who coincidentally won the Caulfield Cup in 2020. The current favorite for the 2022 race has not been decided yet so keep an eye on your races from now until October.

Blue Diamond Stakes

This 1200-meter sprint race is held in February during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. It is a set weight race for two-year-olds and has been raced at Caulfield since 1971. It is a pretty lucrative race with a total prize purse of $1,500,000AUD which was increased from $1,000,000AUD in 2016. The winner of the 2022 race was Daumier, ridden by jockey Mark Zahra.

Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes

This race was first inaugurated in 1951 under the name of the Invitation Stakes. Since then, it has gone under several name changes before finally settling on the name Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in 2015. The race is an open handicap for thoroughbreds three years and older. It currently comes with a total prize purse of $1,000,000AUD. The 2022 race is set to run on the 17th of September. Sierra Sue was the last horse to win the race in 2021, and it is not yet certain who any of the 2022 favorites will be yet.

Caulfield Guineas 

At 1600 meters, this medium-distance race has been held since 1881 when it was won by Wheatear. As of 2022, the total prize purse for the race has been raised by $1,000,000AUD to a massive $2,000,000AUD, probably due to Jockey champion Damien Oliver winning in 2021 on Anamoe, who is on the way to having a successful career, also winning the Rosehill Guineas and the Hobartville Stakes in 2022. The 2022 Caulfield Guineas race will be held on Saturday 8th of October. It is a set weight race for three-year-olds and is known as a Blue Riband race probably because of the level of speed and endurance needed to win the race.

These are some of the top races that make Caulfield Racecourse one of the best in the country.

How to Stay in Shape. Know from David Beckham’s Coach

David Beckham
Photo: The Independent

How to stay in shape? Know the answer from Gunnar Peterson who has helped David Beckham, and some of the world’s most famous athletes and celebrities lose weight and stay in shape, from Tom Brady to Khloe Kardashian. Now as F45 Training’s new Head of Athletics, Peterson oversees all of the company’s programs. 

In fact, Peterson was in London last week to launch a special DB45 training with David Beckham. Naturally, it was a soccer-inspired workout, including cardio and strength work, as Peterson is a big advocate of working in all three planes of motion and variations so your body reflects everything you want and you do in real life.

Here are some of Gunnar Peterson’s tips on how to stay in shape: 

Train how to stay in shape 

“I don’t see men trying to get huge anymore. I think that is a population niche; actually, it always was. Bulking up is a commitment to a lifestyle for X number of months or years. I think in general most men just want to be skinny. In addition, there are many more alternatives available: a bike ride, windsurfing, rollerblading, mountain biking or running triathlons. A guy I know wanted to improve his golf technique. He didn’t mind being a little thinner, he didn’t mind looking better, he didn’t mind having a little more cardiovascular fitness, but he loved taking the pain out of swinging. That is something important.”

Consistency is the key

“You have to be consistent with your training, eating, resting and recovery . You must pay attention to your nutrition, drink more water than you think you need, work on rest and train regularly. It’s not that every training session is impossible, but it does have to be a challenge”.

Muscles pay for the party

“To lose weight and stay fit , you have to lift weights. Stop worrying about getting big, just lift weights. You have to train under load. You must exert more effort during your training than at work, so: if you are a business person and you carry a backpack or a briefcase to the office and it weighs 5 kg, start training with 10 kg. This will make your life easier, and it will also help you lose weight.” 

“Remember: muscle is active tissue, fat is inert. Muscle costs your body, muscle pays for the party. The muscle is burning all the time. Lifting weights means that, after working out, you’re burning calories at a higher rate than after a straight cardio workout.”

Lifting weights boosts metabolism

“All roads lead to lifting weights. There’s no reason to squat with twice your weight on your shoulders, just one full rep with challenging weight is enough. You can use your body weight, a weight vest, carry small dumbbells, or do yoga . Your body doesn’t care if you use a resistance band, a barbell, a pair of dumbbells or cables – the point is to lift things.”

Go back and set your priorities

“Understand that whatever that workout is — an F45 class or a 20-minute session — it will benefit everything else you plan to do that day. So, if you are going to tell me that you don’t have time, fine, but whatever time you have to train, dedicate it 100%. I’d rather you do 20 minutes a day, six or seven days a week, than two one-hour workouts. Or even worse: a single two-hour workout. Especially as we get older, because we run the risk of injuring ourselves.”

Do not give up and learn how to stay fit

“ Tom Brady , Pete Sampras, Lindsey Vonn, Mike Tyson and Kevin Love, for example, will destroy anything you put in front of them. The lesson to be learned is not to give up at all. Do not give up. Not even in the field of entertainment they do. There are people like Sylvester Stallone , Charlize Theron, Kate Beckinsale, and Khloe Kardashian who just won’t quit. Sylvester Stallone always brings his best and Kate Beckinsale is a beast in the gym.”

Do what works for you, not a celebrity

“There are many possibilities to adapt your training. You can reduce the number of repetitions, reduce the total weight, increase the rest time between sets, shorten the total duration or change the temperature of the room. There are a huge number of variables that you can play with to suit your own body and lifestyle, so get started.”

World Cup 2022 Fixtures, Dates, Kick-off Times and Full Schedule

Trophy
Photo is taken from Internet

The World Cup 2022 schedule is now out – or as close to it as we can get before we know who will qualify.

We now know who each country will meet when they will face them, and who they might face in the knockout rounds now that the World Cup 2022 group draw is complete.

We don’t yet know the times or locations for the group stage games, except that Qatar vs Ecuador will be the first match of the day, and will begin earlier than the other matches.

The first two rounds of group games will begin at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. GMT.

Kickoff times for the remaining group stage games and all knockout games will be 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

GROUP STAGE

World Cup 2022 fixtures: the group stage

1st matchday

the 21st of November

Ecuador vs. Qatar

Iran vs. England

Netherlands vs. Senegal

Ukraine/Scotland/Wales vs. United States

the 22nd of November

Saudi Arabia vs. Argentina

Tunisia vs. Denmark

France vs. United Arab Emirates, Australia, and Peru

Mexico takes on Poland.

the 23rd of November

Belgians versus. Canadians

Japan vs. Germany

Croatia vs. Morocco

Costa Rica/New Zealand vs. Spain

the 24th of November

Serbia vs. Brazil

Ghana vs. Portugal

Cameroon vs. Switzerland

Uruguay vs. South Korea is a matchup between two teams.

Day 2 of the tournament

the 25th of November

The United Kingdom vs. the United States

Ecuador vs. the Netherlands

Senegal vs Qatar

Iran against. Ukraine, Scotland, and Wales

On the 26th of November

Mexico vs. Argentina

Denmark vs. France

Saudi Arabia vs. Poland

Tunisia vs. United Arab Emirates, Australia, and Peru

the 27th of November

Morocco vs. Belgium

Croatia takes on Canada.

Costa Rica/New Zealand vs. Japan

Germany vs. Spain

the 28th of November

Switzerland vs. Brazil

Serbia vs Cameroon

Ghana vs. South Korea

Uruguay vs. Portugal

3rd matchday

On the 29th of November

Senegal vs. Ecuador

Iran and the United States are at odds.

Qatar vs. Netherlands

England against. Ukraine, Scotland, and Wales

the 30th of November

Argentina vs. Poland

Mexico vs. Saudi Arabia

Tunisia vs. France is a matchup between two countries.

Denmark vs. UAE, Australia, and Peru

Wednesday, December 1st

Morocco vs. Canada

Belgium vs. Croatia

Spain vs. Japan

Germany vs. Costa Rica/New Zealand

Saturday, December 2nd

Cameroon vs. Brazil.

Uruguay vs. Ghana

Portugal vs. South Korea

Switzerland vs. Serbia

ROUND OF 16

Saturday, December 3

Group A Winner vs Group B Second Place

Group C Winner vs Group D Second Place

Sunday, December 4

Group D Winner vs Group C Winner

Group B Winner vs Group A Second Place

Monday, December 5

Group E Winner vs Group F Second Place

Group G Winner vs Group H Second Place

Tuesday, December 6

Group F Winner vs Group E Second Place

Group H Winner vs Group G Winner

QUARTER-FINALS

Friday, December 9

Round of 16 5 Winner vs Round of 16 6 Winner

Round of 16 1 Winner vs Round of 16 2 Winner

Saturday, December 10

Round of 16 7 Winner vs Round of 16 8 Winner

Round of 16 3 Winner vs Round of 16 4 Winner

SEMI-FINALS

Tuesday, December 13

Quarter-Final 1 Winner vs Quarter-Final 2 Winner 

Wednesday, December 14

Quarter-Final 3 Winner vs Quarter-Final 4 Winner

THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF

Saturday, December 17

Semi-Final 1 Loser vs Semi-Final 2 Loser

FINAL

Sunday, December 18

Semi-Final 1 Winner vs Semi-Final 2 Winner

SA Vs BAN: Bangladesh Create History with First-ever Win against Proteas in South Africa

SA Vs BAN 1st ODI Result
Photo Credit: ICC

Bangladesh won their first-ever match on South African soil in any format, beating the Proteas by 38 runs in the first of three one-day internationals at SuperSport, Centurion, on Friday.

With the second and last ODI slated for Sunday, South Africa was all out for 276 with seven balls to spare, giving Bangladesh a 1-0 lead.

Taskin Ahmed (3/36) was outstanding with his probing spells, while Mehedi Hasan Miraz (4/61) did great to come back and take up four wickets after going for runs immediately.

In a high-scoring encounter, Taskin’s gutsy effort of giving just 36 runs in 10 overs was impressive, and he was aided by youthful fast Shariful Islam (2/47).

Rassie van der Dussen top-scored for the hosts with a 98-ball 86 that included nine fours and a six, while David Miller hit eight fours and three sixes in his 59-79.

The Proteas had a glimmer of optimism when these two were playing well together, but the Tigers finally snuffed out both threats.

Bangladesh had earlier achieved a challenging score of 314 runs in 50 overs, losing seven wickets – their best total in 10 ODIs in South Africa.

The Tigers got off to a good start on their trip, scoring a huge total thanks to a combined effort from the visiting batsmen, which included three half-centuries from Shakib al Hasan (77), Yasir Ali, and Liton Das (50 each).

When Proteas captain Temba Bavuma asked them to bat first, ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal (41) and Liton lay the groundwork with a disciplined 95-run opening stand.

They took it slowly at early, scoring only 46 runs in the opening 15 overs while fending off South Africa’s quick bowlers.

Tamim and Liton both faced the same 67 balls in their innings, but Bangladesh was reduced to 124/3 after losing Mushfiqur Rahim (nine).

Shakib and Yasir, on the other hand, steadied the ship with a superb 115-run fourth-wicket combination; the former faced just 64 deliveries in his quickfire innings, which included seven fours and three sixes.

Shakib’s brilliant innings came just six days after he reversed his decision to skip the South African trip.

Yasir hit his maiden fifty after his only two previous ODI innings had yielded only one run each.

Mahmudullah (25) and Afif Hossain (17) put the final touches on a tough score for Bangladesh, while Mehedi Hasan Miraz (19 not out) and Taskin Ahmed (seven not out) stayed unbroken.

Marco Jansen and Keshav Maharaj of South Africa each took two wickets.

As the innings progressed, the bowlers absorbed a lot of punishment.

Lungi Ngidi, who had only given up 18 runs in his first five overs with the new ball, let up 57 runs in his last five overs.

South Africa took 30 minutes longer to bowl their overs than the allocated three and a half hours.

In a stadium with a capacity of just 2000 people due to coronavirus restrictions, a tiny number of Bangladesh supporters cheered for their side.

Playing XIs

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal (capt), Liton Das, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Yasir Ali, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Shariful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman

South Africa: Kyle Verreynne (wk), Janneman Malan, Temba Bavuma (capt), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi

Bangladesh VS South Africa ODI: Indomitable Tigers Post 314-7

Shakib Al Hasan
Photo credit: AFP

Bangladesh scored their third-highest first-innings total in ODIs away from home (excluding neutral venues) against South Africa in the first ODI at Centurion after being selected to bat first.

After a slow start, the visitors were able to post 314 for seven thanks to some spectacular batting in the second half of the innings.

Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan top-scored with 77 off 64 balls, including seven fours and three sixes. Yasir Ali (50 off 44) was his ally, scoring his first fifty in international cricket. He and Shakib combined 115 runs for the fourth wicket in just 82 balls, giving Bangladesh’s innings a much-needed boost after a sluggish start.

Tamim Iqbal and Litton Das survived the powerplay and then accelerated until the former was caught for 41 runs. They scored 95 runs in 21.3 overs. Litton Das (50 off 67) got his second fifty in three matches, despite Tamim missing his fifty.

Mahmudullah (25 off 17) and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (19 off 13) each scored two runs to help Bangladesh reach 300 points. The final ten overs produced a total of 81 runs.

Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Andile Phehlukwayo each got one wicket, while Keshav Maharaj and Marco Jansen each took two

Kohli Steps Down as India’s Test Captain

Kohli Steps Down as India's Test Captain
Picture is taken from AFP

Virat Kohli has resigned as India’s Test captain, effective immediately, he said on Saturday (January 15).

Kohli’s decision comes a day after India’s attempt to win their first-ever series in South Africa fell short. India lost the series 2-1 despite winning the first Test.

The 33-year-old had recently stepped down as India’s T20I captain and was subsequently ousted as the ODI captain ahead of the South Africa tour, which he announced via social media.

Statement by Kohli:

“It’s taken 7 years of hard effort, toil, and unwavering perseverance every day to move the team forward.” I’ve done the task completely honestly and haven’t left anything out. Everything has to come to a standstill at some point, and for me as India’s Test Captain, that time has arrived. Along the way, there have been many ups and some downs, but there has never been a lack of work or belief. I’ve always believed that giving 120 percent in everything I do is the right thing to do, and if I can’t, I know it’s not the right thing to do. I am completely honest with my team and have absolute clarity in my heart.

“I’d want to express my gratitude to the BCCI for allowing me to represent my country for such a long time, and, more significantly, to all of my players who believed in the vision I had for the team from the beginning and never gave up in any situation.” This journey has been made even more memorable and lovely because of you. You all played a huge role in bringing this idea to life, Ravi Bhai and the support group who were the engine behind this car that continually propelled us ahead in Test Cricket. Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to MS Dhoni, who believed in me as a captain and saw me as a capable guy capable of leading Indian cricket forward.”

In the absence of MS Dhoni, Kohli led India in a Test match for the first time in Adelaide at the end of 2014. Following Dhoni’s Test retirement, he took over as full-time captain in the same series. Kohli’s success as a Test captain led to him taking over the reins in the other forms as Dhoni stepped down throughout the years. He eventually eclipsed Dhoni as India’s most successful Test skipper.

Under Kohli’s leadership, India ascended to the top of the Test rankings and, for the first time in their history, won a Test series in Australia in 2018-19. While Australia’s batting was decimated in that series, India, led by Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, returned two years later to beat them again. India is already 2-1 up in the series in England and will play the fifth and final Test later this year. India made it to the final of the inaugural World Test Championship but lost to New Zealand. Kohli has led India to 40 Test victories, trailing just Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh in the all-time list.

Lionel Messi Tests Covid Positive

Lionel Messi Covid Positive (1)

PSG striker Lionel Messi and three other players tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

PSG said the players, including Juan Bernat, Sergio Rico, and Nathan Bitumazala, are isolated and following health precautions.

PSG also revealed Neymar will be out for three weeks due to injury. On Monday, Ligue 1 leaders face Vannes in the Coupe de France.

Mauricio Pochettino stated he was doubtful if Messi would play in their next league game, against Lyon on Jan. 9.

He has been in frequent contact with our medical team and will travel to France if his test is negative, but we don’t know anymore.” I’m not sure he’ll face Lyon.

“He can’t travel to France until he receives a negative test in Argentina.” So it’s a test of when he can travel. We’ll see when he’s ready.”

Saturday saw 219,126 new COVID-19 cases verified in France, the fourth day in a row with over 200,000 cases.

The country now joins the US, India, Brazil, the UK, and Russia with over 10 million cases. PSG lead Ligue 1 with 46 points after 19 games, 13 ahead of Nice.

Ballon d’Or 2021: Lionel Messi Wins Seventh Time

Ballon d’Or 2021 Lionel Messi (1)

At a ceremony in Paris on Monday evening, Lionel Messi was awarded the 2021 Ballon d’Or, his record seventh title.

Messi, 34, beat out Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, and Chelsea’s Jorginho to win the award and move two points clear of five-time champion Cristiano Ronaldo, who was among the 30 players selected but did not make the top three for the first time in 11 years.

Despite finishing third in La Liga and falling in the first round of the Champions League, Messi was the favorite to win the award after winning the Copa America with Argentina earlier this year – his first major international trophy – and despite having one of his less impressive seasons at club level: Barcelona finished third in La Liga and lost in the first round of the Champions League. Messi, on the other hand, scored two goals in Barca’s Copa del Rey final victory and was once again La Liga’s top goalscorer before joining Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

The newly established Striker of the Year title went Robert Lewandowski as a consolation medal, while the Women’s Ballon d’Or went to Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas.

More accolades were given to Gianluigi Donnarumma for the Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper, Pedri, a Barcelona midfielder, for the Kopa Trophy, and Chelsea for Club of the Year for their on-field successes with both men’s and women’s teams.

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