Retro 2021. The award of the Ballon d’Or, once again won by Lionel Messi, had never caused so much controversy.
The 69 goals scored by Robert Lewandowski during the year were therefore not enough. However, the performance had not been seen since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013. It was enough that Lionel Messi finally knows the consecration with Argentina during a Copa America that he will have, it is true, overflown, for the 180 Voters of the Ballon d’Or decide to award it for the seventh time the most prestigious of distinctions.
The coronation of the former Barcelonan seems to have surprised even the first interested. The native of Rosario thus paid a particularly strong tribute to the Pole when receiving his trophy, explaining that he deserved to have one at home, especially the one canceled in 2020 when the Bayern Munich striker had won everything. As for the organizer of the ceremony, France Football has chosen to create a consolation prize for the former Borussia Dortmund player, that of the best striker of the year.
Lewandowski doubts Messi
For his part, Robert Lewandowski showed a certain fair play, only letting his bitterness show through at the microphone of Polish television, explaining doubting the sincerity of Lionel Messi’s speech. Robert Lewandowski’s teammates, Bayern Munich managers or the club’s former glories were much more bitter, not hiding their incomprehension. And it was the same for the Polish press but also German where some have mentioned « A shame », « a scandal » or « a theft ».
Read also: Ballon d’Or: Lewandowski’s big doubts about Messi
The German media could all the more fulminate that Robert Lewandowski joined Franck Ribéry, Manuel Neuer or Oliver Kahn in the list of Bavarian players who had to be satisfied with an accessit for the last twenty years. And this while Bayern Munich won three Champions Leagues (2001, 2013, 2020) and Germany a World Cup (2014) without seeing one of their players win the Ballon d’Or. The fault mainly with the lack of media weight of Bayern Munich.
Blame it on Tanzania or Burundi
Editor-in-chief at AS, Tomas Roncero has also denounced the operation of the Ballon d’Or even before the announcement of the seventh coronation of Lionel Messi. « If we give Messi the Ballon d’Or, it will be a scandal » , he wrote in a column, adding « giving Messi the Ballon d’Or would be a historic fraud ». And to believe the journalist from Madrid, this « farce » is easily explained. It is based on the Ballon d’Or voting system, which is intended to be universal with one vote per country. « Voters from Burundi or Tanzania probably don’t see many matches ”, he denounced.
The facts nevertheless proved Tomas Roncero wrong. While the journalist from Tanzania did not respond, the journalist from Burundi certainly voted for Lionel Messi in front of Robert Lewandowski. But if we only keep the votes of England, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, Portugal, the Netherlands, Argentina , Brazil and Uruguay, considering that they are the major footballing nations, the result is identical: Lionel Messi retains his Ballon d’Or and with 36 points, the Argentine is still ahead of Robert Lewandowski (34 points) while Jorginho (27) completed the podium.
However, as every year, the Ballon d’Or gave rise to more than doubtful choices on the part of certain voters, which are not without tarnishing the Ballon d’Or. But this is not the prerogative of small nations since the best example is undoubtedly that of the Brazilian journalist, who retained neither Lionel Messi, nor Robert Lewandowski in his Top 5, preferring them De Bruyne, Jorginho, Mbappé , Lukaku and Neymar.
Also read:The Ballon d’Or finally awarded to Lewandowski?Ballon d’Or: A proven “historical fraud”?Ballon d’Or: a record for PSG