Sacred best youngster, Pedri succeeds Mbappé
Its maturity is already disconcerting. The young Spanish attacking midfielder of FC Barcelona Pedri received the Kopa trophy for the best player under 21 of 2021 on Monday during the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris. He succeeds the French Kylian Mbappé (2018) and the Dutch Matthijs de Ligt (2019), no prize having been awarded in 2020 due to the Covid crisis. The player, who celebrated his 19th birthday on Thursday, has had a stellar trajectory in recent months, until he joined La Roja. He was named best youngster of the last European Championship, where Spain was eliminated in the semi-final by Italy.
But his superb season did not end there. Pedro Gonzalez followed this summer with the Tokyo Olympics, concluded with a silver medal, after losing in the final against Brazil. He will have played 73 matches during the 2020-2021 season. Trained in Las Palmas, in the Canary Islands where he is from, Pedri started in September 2020 at FC Barcelona. He became the second-youngest player to reach 50 appearances for Barca, behind striker Bojan Krkic, thanks to an impressive volume of play and tactical ease rare at his age.
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Lewandowski honored for his scoring qualities
Robert Lewandowski received the trophy for the most prolific goalscorer of the year, thanks to his achievements with Bayern Munich and Poland, Monday in Paris. “I thank my teammates, without them I wouldn’t be the goalscorer that I am“, said the center forward receiving his prize. Top scorer in the Bundesliga, he notably broke last season the famous record of Gerd Müller by signing 41 goals in the German Championship. The” Bomber “had stopped to 40 in 1971-1972.
This distinction is a novelty of this Ballon d’Or 2021 ceremony. It is a kind of consolation prize for Lewandowski who also finished just behind Lionel Messi in the ranking of the supreme award.
Donnarumma crowned best goalkeeper
Already in the Top 10 of the Ballon d’Or (10th), Gianluigi Donnarumma won the Yachine trophy on Monday evening which rewards the best goalkeeper of the year. The great Italian particularly shone last summer with the Squadra Azzurra, European champion. Designated best player of the Euro at 22, he was then transferred to PSG where he made a quality start to the season and plays alternately with Keylor Navas.
Donnarumma succeeds the Brazilian Alisson (Liverpool), the first recipient of the award in 2019, and is ahead of Edouard Mendy, Senegalese international goalkeeper who also shone by winning the Champions League with Chelsea. Jan Oblak, Atlético de Madrid goalkeeper, completes the podium.
Chelsea, club of the year obviously
Winners of the Champions League, the Chelsea Blues were also greeted with an innovation, that of the best club in 2021. With two players in the Top 5 of the Ballon d’Or, the Italian Jorginho and the French N’Golo Kanté , Thomas Tuchel’s team marked the 2020-2021 season. And she started the 2021-2022 fiscal year at the same pace, both in the Premier League (the Blues are currently first, editor’s note) and in the Champions League (qualifying for the knockout stages).
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