Chelsea have been recognised for their achievements as a club as France Football awarded them the 2021 Club of the Year at the Ballon d’Or gala on Monday.
France Football unveiled two awards at the 2021 Ballon d’Or awards gala: “Striker of the Year” and “Club of the Year”.
Both award categories are the third and fourth introductions by France Football in the past three years, following the Kopa Trophy for best young player under the age of 21 and the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper.
Robert Lewandowski, who missed out on his Ballon d’Or due to COVID-19 restrictions forcing France Football to cancel last year’s gala, won the Striker of the Year award, while Chelsea won the Club of the Year award.
The Blues were the standout team in this year’s Ballon d’Or nominations for both the male and female categories following an excellent year in which the men’s team won the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup, and the women’s team won the English Women’s Super League.
Captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante were on the 30-man shortlist for the men’s award, while Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr, Jessie Flemming and Fran Kirby were on the 10-woman shortlist for the women’s award.
Edouard Mendy was also nominated for the Yashin award following his brilliant season with The Blues but lost out on the Yashin Trophy to Gianluigi Donnarumma.
How Chelsea won the Club of the Year award
Chelsea became a dominant force under manager Emma Hayes and that dominance was on full display in 2021 as expected.
It was a smooth run to the final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League where they faced the unmovable wall of Barcelona Femeni, captained by 2021 Ballon d’Or Feminin winner, Alexia Putellas.
This was after they had wrapped up the WSL in England for the second time in a row to claim their fourth title, the most in the competition’s 11-year history. A win in the UWCL final would’ve also meant that Chelsea would be the first club to have their men’s and women’s teams be European champions.
Meanwhile, the men’s team braved many odds as they picked up the pieces of a season in which they could’ve ended outside the places for European competition.
Thomas Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard and helped transform the team into a club that nobody wants to play against, eventually beating Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Champions League and later Villarreal in the Super Cup.
This was after battling their way back into the top four to earn a chance to qualify for the 2021/22 Champions League in case things didn’t go their way in the final.
Chelsea men’s team currently top the 2021/22 Premier League table while Chelsea women’s team are in second place and looking to defend their title from their perennial rivals, the Arsenal women’s team.
As it stands, Chelsea remains in pole position to win the 2022 Club of the Year award, which will definitely please fans.