Anyone who was betting on the Ballon d’Or award, perhaps matching the Bet365 vs Bwin odds, will have noted the many possible players who deserved to find themselves above Lionel Messi in the final vote.
The backlash that has resulted from Messi picking up his seventh Ballon d’Or has been ferocious in nature and unlike any that has followed the awards ceremony. Many, quite rightly, felt that Bayern Munich and Poland forward Robert Lewandowski was the logical choice, but he fell behind the Argentine in the voting.
While it’s true, Messi finally won some silverware while on national team duty, his efforts with Barcelona failed to secure anything other than a Copa Del Rey trophy. Though the diminutive attacker topped La Liga in terms of both goals and assists, his latest Ballon d’Or is one that he didn’t deserve.
Indeed, when collecting his award, he made it clear that he feels the Ballon d’Or that was canceled last year should be given to Lewandowski in honor of his efforts, but even that hasn’t brought an end to criticism about this latest award.
Think, for instance, about Jorginho. Not only did he play a pivotal role in helping his Chelsea side to a Champions League title, he then guided Italy to the Euro 2020 crown. Yes, the battling midfielder finished third in the vote.
No one would deny the great season Messi did have, but in terms of achievements, his were lower than a number of his competitors, and his efforts at PSG, which represent a portion of the year covered by the award, have been muted, to say the least.
Messi has managed just one goal in Ligue 1 and hasn’t been overly impressive in Champions League action. This makes his award even harder to fathom and will leave many believing that the award has a severe bias in favor of its big-name stars.
A number of top players have questioned the decision, Toni Kroos being chief among them with the Real Madrid man stating;
“It’s absolutely not deserved,”
“There is no doubt that Messi, with Cristiano [Ronaldo], has been the player of the last decade, but this year there should’ve been others ahead of him.”
“For me, Karim would have been the number one if you were really looking for the best individual player of the last year because I can see from close quarters what an outstanding footballer he is,”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was perhaps a little bit more measured in his response;
“I’m really not sure about what it is 100 percent. I think you can always give it to Lionel Messi for the career he has for the footballer he is. But if you don’t give it to Robert Lewandowski this time, then it’s quite tricky to get it at all. And Mo (Salah) definitely should have been higher up (than seventh).”
Indeed the absence of Salah in the very highest of positions is also tricky to understand but is perhaps proof again that when it comes to the Ballon d’Or, the Premier League rarely gets a fair time of it.
The last time a Premier League player won the award? 2008 when Cristiano Ronaldo won for the first time.