If we talk about the modern era of football, then perhaps its best representatives are Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Most of the football bets made by the fans are placed on these golden two. It’s sad to think about the fact that their football career is coming to an end.
At the moment, Messi is playing for PSG and Ronaldo for his old club Manchester United. They continue to show great results playing for the club and their national teams, but they cannot do that forever due to age. They are already considered mature players: Messi is 34, and Ronaldo is 36.
Perhaps they will duplicate the phenomenon of Ibrahimovic, who, even at the age of 40, keeps playing with confidence, regularly bringing victories for Milan in important matches (it is thanks to Ibrahimovic that the club made it to second place in the A-series). But still, their era will not last much longer, and the number of grandiose tournaments in which these great athletes will participate is very limited.
Nevertheless, both players set new records and regularly surprise their fans with stunning skills.
In July 2021, Messi won Copa America for the first time. It is a football tournament among South American countries. He became the best in the competition with four goals and five assists in 7 matches! Amazing statistics! But what’s more important is that Messi made it to the final for the fourth time but won it for the first time! Before that, there were very annoying defeats of Chile on penalties and a crushing defeat of Brazil with a score of 3:0 in 2007. And don’t forget the embarrassing loss of the Argentine national team, for which Messi is playing, at the 2014 World Cup – in the end, they took second place and lost in the final to Germany during extra time.
Ronaldo also managed to make an appearance. Thus, he recently broke the world record for the number of goals in the national team, beating the Iranian Ali Daei. The Iranian had 109 goals in his career; Ronaldo, at the moment, has 115. By the way, Ronaldo could have beaten the world record at Euro 2020, which was postponed until 2021 due to the pandemic. He was very close, but then the Portuguese team lost in a rather tense match to Belgium with a score of 0:1.
But on the 1st of September, it all fell back into place: Ronaldo scored two goals for the national team of Ireland (and his team won with a score of 2:1 in the end) and broke the world record.
Messi, then, received his seventh Ballon d’Or as the best footballer of the year on 29.11.21. And also updated his own record for the number of golden balls.
But recently, there was another football event that deserves special attention.
Ronaldo received the Globe Soccer Awards as the Top Goal Scorer of all time. In the number of goals in his career, he even surpassed Pele himself. But the title of Men’s Player of the Year in 2021 was given to Killian Mbappe, the striker of the French PSG (where he plays together with Messi and Neymar).
The awarding is organised by the European Association of Clubs and Football Agents; thus, it is not just some kind of online voting for “favourite prize”, experienced football experts compile the rating. They also keep general statistics of each athlete: individual achievements, data from UEFA FIFA and other organisations.
Cristiano Ronaldo commented on the award presentation. He said that he is very proud that the football community and fans highly appreciate his achievements. He stated that he is pleased to be recognized year after year at such an elegant and prestigious event of global significance. The ceremony was held in luxurious Dubai, where a grand Gala concert, “Dubai Globe Soccer Gala”, was organised in honour of the event.
But Ronaldo and Mbappe are not the only winners of 2021. Other outstanding athletes and football figures also received awards. Let’s briefly examine each of their achievements.
According to fans from TikTok, the best player of the year was Robert Lewandowski. According to experts, he also received the Maradona Award – becoming the best scorer of the year. And indeed, if Lewandowski’s performance in the Polish national team is moderate (although his team did get into the playoffs of the World Cup-22, and he took third place in the list of scorers selected for the 2022 World Cup with eight goals in his asset), in Bayern, Lewandowski performs as a world football star. Regular defeats in the Bundesliga and the Champions League are primarily due to his play – he constantly showers his rivals with goals.
Roberto Mancini became the best coach of the year – experts highly appreciated his success with the Italian national team at Euro 2020. Gianluigi Donnarumma ( the best goalkeeper) and Leonardo Bonucci (the best defender of the year) received their awards mainly due to the victory at the Euro. The Italian national team was recognized as the best one in 2021.
The best player of the year in women’s football was Alexia Putellas.
By the way, Chelsea’s successes were highly appreciated, and the club was recognized as the best men’s club of the year. Winning the Champions League and ranking first in the Premier League table this season contributed to this decision. And the winner of the women’s Champions League – football club Barcelona – also received the award (by the way, that’s the team Alexia Putellas plays for).
There were also other awards – the best youth academy in Africa, the best esports player, sports director, football agent. The prize for innovation went to the “A” Series.
Thus, there were a total of 17 nominations at the Globe Soccer Awards 2021 ceremony. They covered different areas of this sport – from directly playing in the field to managerial and organisational skills. This award’s global and marketing recognition is somewhat lower than that of the “Golden Ball” from FIFA, but do not assume that the football community does not pay attention to the Globe Soccer Awards. Many athletes want to get into their list, becoming the best in one of the categories for 2021. Especially considering that the European Association of Clubs considers various aspects of the game, the winners are determined based on a number of statistical data.
It is excellent that Cristiano Ronaldo made it to this list. After all, he set a world record for goals for the national team, which is a significant achievement. And this year his team’s opponents were very formidable, scoring such a number of goals shows the high skill of a football player.