The 2021 Ballon d'Or may have taken place nearly a month ago, but their results continued making noise for many weeks after the ceremony. While many felt happy to see Lionel Messi receive his seventh award, others believed it should have been given to Robert Lewandowski.

The Bayern Munich superstar himself has shown his frustration with the outcome, even taking a subtle shot at the PSG star - and later clarifying those comments. Whether he actually deserved the coveted prize or not, the truth is that everyone seems to agree that he should be in the conversation of the best player of the year.

And, although the Ballon d'Or seems to be above anything else, Lewandowski hasn't been lacking in recognition. In fact, he was the winner of The Guardian's 100 best male footballers for the second straight year.

Lewandowski finishes atop The Guardian's 100 best players in 2021

This year has been the 10th edition of the british newspaper's annual vote to determine the best 100 players of the year. 219 judges took part in the voting process, with each one of them sending their list of best 40 players.

After his Ballon d'Or frustration, Lewandowski can at least appreciate that he's still widely considered the best of 2021. Messi finished behind him, and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah completed the podium.

He overtook Cristiano Ronaldo, who dropped five places and finished eighth. Neymar, who was ninth in the 2020 vote, has failed to make it into the top 10 this time by finishing 13th.

  1. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
  2. Lionel Messi (PSG)
  3. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
  4. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
  5. Jorginho (Chelsea)
  6. Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
  7. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
  8. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
  9. N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)
  10. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)