The Argentine beat Robert Lewandowski by just 33 points to win his seventh Ballon d'Or trophy.
"It's incredible to be here again," he said after picking up the award, per BBC.
"Two years ago I thought it was the last time. People were starting to ask me when I was going to retire but now I'm here in Paris and very happy.
"It's a special year for me with this Copa America title. It meant a lot to win [1-0 against Brazil in the final] at the Maracana stadium and I was so happy to celebrate with the people from Argentina.
"I don't know if it's the best year of my life - I've had a long career - but it was a special one with the title with Argentina after the tough times and the criticism."
As Messi alluded to in his speech, he has been the subject of a fair it of criticism in 2021.
Despite another incredible year with club and country, many believed he wasn't deserving of picking up the Ballon d'Or.
Piers Morgan was very much in that camp. Taking to Twitter after Messi won the award, Morgan wrote: "No offence to Messi but he's not even in the Top 2 players at PSG, let alone best in the world."
Ouch. Presumably, the two PSG players that Morgan thinks are better than Messi are Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
The duo finished ninth and 16th respectively in the 2021 Ballon d'Or.
While Mbappe and Neymar are both incredible players, it's a bit of a controversial take from Morgan and Gary Lineker made his feelings well known in his response.
It's no secret that Morgan thinks Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player of all-time.
The Portuguese forward, 36, finished sixth in this year's Ballon d'Or.
It is the first time Ronaldo has finished outside the top three in the Ballon d'Or voting since 2010.News Now - Sport News