AC Milan and Denmark centre back Simon Kjaer was ranked 18th in the 2021 Ballon d’Or rankings at the ceremony in Paris yesterday night. The defenderhas had an exceptional year and this was a career milestone for the 32 year old.
He commented ahead of the ceremony via MilanNews.it:
“I’m happy to be here for the first time, it’s a positive thing for football. Who will win? It’s a good question, I don’t know. Last year Lewandowski deserved it. This year, however, one between him, Messi or Ronaldo.”
He was additionally honoured and received a round of applause led by former striker Didier Drogba in recognition of his incredible feat in saving the life of his national team player Christian Eriksen in their opening fixture at the Euro 2020 competition.
In a separate interview with Sky Italia via MilanNews.it he said:
“It was a special evening, it’s my first time going. Eriksen? It’s something that I will carry with me for my whole life and that I slowly want to close, a personal accident at the European Championship that I want to take away with all due respect. It’s only a positive thing, but I have to close for myself too. ... To be on the list of 30 [for the Ballon d’Or] I made the semi-finals of the European Championships, I returned to the Champions League with Milan and now we fight for the Scudetto. I have seen my career as a path of growth. At Bergamo it was the tactical decision of the coach, but I never gave up and I never had any doubts about myself. It is no surprise for me to be here, but to be here you need respect and a mentality.”