Kylian Mbappe was crowned the best male footballer of 2021 at the Globe Soccer Awards on Monday night.
Despite only finishing in ninth place in the Ballon d’Or rankings, the Paris Saint-Germain forward defeated competition from Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi to take the top prize in Dubai.
With 51 goals for club and country across the calendar year, as well as UEFA Nations League glory on France duties, Mbappe has certainly reminded the world of his staggering potential in 2021.
Mbappe wins 2021 prize
It really is remarkable to think that Mbappe can so often hold his own against generation-defining players when he’s ultimately still finding his feet at 23 years old.
However, that being said, you’d be hard-pressed to argue that Mbappe truly was the star of 2021 when he didn’t even win the Ligue 1 title – never mind the Champions League – with PSG.
And it’s certainly not the first time that the Globe Soccer Awards have raised a few eyebrows since they started crowning the best male player of the year back at their 2011 ceremony.
You only need to look at the fact that Messi has only been named the player of the year once in the 10 years since to understand that this isn’t your rudimentary footballing accolade.
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Globe Soccer Award winners
While Messi might have fared much, much worse on only one player of the year award, Ronaldo has picked up more of the trophies than he has Ballon d’Or titles with no less than six triumphs.
In fact, try to think of it as an alternative-universe Ballon d’Or because the full results for the best men’s player of the year award, which you can check out below, certainly make for crazy reading.
2011: Cristiano Ronaldo
2012: Radamel Falcao
2013: Franck Ribery
2014: Cristiano Ronaldo
2015: Lionel Messi
2016: Cristiano Ronaldo
2017: Cristiano Ronaldo
2018: Cristiano Ronaldo
2019: Cristiano Ronaldo
2020: Robert Lewandowski
2021: Kylian Mbappe
Ronaldo 6-1 Messi
Well, well, well. That’s certainly an eye-opening set of results with only the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of the Globe Soccer Awards actually aligning with the Ballon d’Or winners.
Ronaldo was favoured over Messi in both 2011 and 2019, though lost out to Ribery in 2013, while Luka Modric was also bested by the United star in 2018 despite winning France Football’s prize.
Mbappe got the better of Messi this year and Falcao ousted the Barcelona icon in 2021, while the Ballon d’Or wasn’t presented in 2020 despite Lewandowski essentially being the unofficial winner.
So, despite the Ballon d’Or suggesting that the scores should be Messi 5-4 Ronaldo since 2011, the Globe Soccer Awards would remarkably have you believe that it’s actually Ronaldo 6-1 Messi.
You’ll forgive us for thinking that – with all due respect to the Globe Soccer Awards and Ronaldo – the Ballon d’Or is quite considerably closer to the truth.