Lewandowski, who was left without his deserved award last year when the ceremony was canceled, Benzema and Mbappé are listed as the Argentine’s main rivals at this Monday’s gala
There is a general tiredness to give to Leo messi the best player award. It doesn’t matter who the award comes from. The incomparable regularity of the Argentine leads voters to relativize his merits, or overstate those of others. There is no individual award more prestigious than the Golden Ball, the one that grants the magazine ‘France Football‘, and Messi has already taken the stand six times to collect the trophy. This Monday points to the seventh.
As has been happening lately, there will be those who think that their year has not been so bad, or that other players, their rivals in this edition, Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappé or even Karim Benzema, they should have the right to conquer the first of their careers. The mystery will be revealed at 8:00 p.m. in a ceremony to be held at the Châtelet theater in Paris.
The ex-bluegrana, now in the ranks of the Paris Saint Germain, counts as guarantees of his candidacy the conquest of the America Cup -after three lost finals with the albiceleste-, the title of top scorer in the last league with Barça and the achievement of the Copa del Rey. A new award would allow him to expand the distance with Cristiano Ronaldo, who adds five, and would objectively strengthen the consideration of the best player of all time.
Messi won the last Ballon d’Or in 2019, by just seven votes, and his landing in French football may somehow influence in his favor in a vote in which 180 journalists from around the world participate. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the award was not voted or awarded for the first time in history.
No changing of the guard
The Polish Lewandowski opposes as credentials the Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich and the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the major European leagues. His year should be the previous one, the one that was canceled, in which he won the Champions League with the Bavarian team. There is an outstanding debt with him and it remains to be seen how that has weighed on the votes. Benzema, who won nothing, sounds thanks to the Madrid media trumpeter, always so noisy. Messi, Lewandowski and Benzema, including Cristiano Ronaldo, whose name never completely disappears, are over 33 years old, which means that the changing of the guard has not yet arrived.
Final touch… ✨✨✨ #ballondor pic.twitter.com/MMZ3au2uIz
– Ballon d’Or #ballondor (@francefootball) November 26, 2021
Among the 30 nominees there is a Barça footballer, Pedri, who has no choice in the highest award but can perfectly hear his name when the winner of the Kopa Award is known as best junior. Pedri, injured, has already won a similar award, the Golden Boy of Tuttosport. The Spanish César Azpilicueta, champion with Chelsea of the Champions, and Gerard Moreno, the best player of the last edition of the Europa League, also appear in that list of 30 candidates.
Messi’s forward teammates at PSG, the French Kylian Mbappé, and the Brazilian Neymar, are also in the list of nominees, as well as Edin Haaland. The Norwegian and Mbappé are called to compete in the near future just as Messi and Cristiano have done in recent years.
Chelsea and Manchester City, the two finalists of the last Champions League, present five candidates each, followed by PSG, with four. A poor year for Barça, who will have to launch the confetti for the female category.