Messi finished with 613 points, edging retired Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who scored 580.
"It is simply a immense grant to combat with Robert," Messi said.
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"Last twelvemonth you were the victor and I deliberation France Football should springiness it to you."
That remark was successful notation to the 2020 awards, which were cancelled owed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lewandowski, who won striker of the year, scored 41 goals successful the Bundesliga, mounting a caller single-season scoring grounds successful the process.
Messi, 34, led Argentina to the Copa American rubric successful July, conscionable weeks earlier his high-profile determination from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.
"I'm precise blessed to beryllium here, blessed to support warring for caller trophies," helium said.
"Two years agone I thought that it was my past twelvemonth and present I americium present again. I americium precise happy, precise excited and wanting to combat for caller challenges.
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"I don't cognize however galore years I person left, but I anticipation galore more. I'd similar to convey each my (former) teammates astatine Barcelona and Argentina."
Messi and Ronaldo person present won each Ballon d'Or since 2008, with the sole objection of Luka Modrić's triumph successful 2018.
But Ronaldo wasn't successful attendance astatine this year's award, wherever helium finished sixth. It's the archetypal clip since 2010 helium hasn't finished successful the apical three.
The Manchester United prima took to societal media earlier the ceremonial to slam Pascal Ferré, the exertion of France Football, who organises the awards.
Ferré told the New York Times that Ronaldo was driven lone by a tendency to triumph the grant much times than Messi.
"Ronaldo has lone 1 ambition, and that is to discontinue with much Ballons d'Or than Messi, and I cognize that due to the fact that helium has told me," Ferré said.
That drew an aggravated effect from Ronaldo, successful an Instagram station translated into English.
"Today's result explains wherefore Pascal Ferré's statements past week, erstwhile helium said that I confided successful him that my lone ambition was to decorativeness my vocation with much Golden Balls than Lionel Messi," Ronaldo wrote.
"Pascal Ferré lied, helium utilized my sanction to beforehand himself and to beforehand the work helium works for. It is unacceptable that the idiosyncratic liable for awarding specified a prestigious prize could prevarication successful this way, successful implicit disrespect for idiosyncratic who has ever respected France Football and the Ballon d'Or. And helium lied again today, justifying my lack from the Gala with an alleged quarantine that has nary crushed to exist.
"I ever privation to congratulate those who win, wrong the sportsmanship and fair-play that person guided my vocation since the beginning, and I bash it due to the fact that I'm ne'er against anyone. I ever triumph for myself and for the clubs I represent, I triumph for myself and for those who emotion me. I don't triumph against anyone.
"The biggest ambition of my vocation is to triumph nationalist and planetary titles for the clubs I correspond and for the nationalist squad successful my country. The biggest ambition of my vocation is to beryllium a bully illustration for each those who are oregon privation to beryllium nonrecreational footballers. The biggest ambition of my vocation is to permission my sanction written successful aureate letters successful the past of satellite football.
"I volition extremity by saying that my absorption is already connected Manchester United's adjacent crippled and connected everything that, unneurotic with my team-mates and our fans, we tin inactive execute this season."
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