No Ballon d’Or gala is without controversies: Germany’s culture of anger this year is more evident than it already is – if Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski was the undoubted winner.
But is it really so? Or do we see things a lot through German glasses? Did Lionel Messi’s victory with Argentina in the Copa America outrank Leo’s impressive goal-scoring in the German Bundesliga and the mini-treble of the tournament, the World Cup and the Super Cup? What is the reaction of football fans around the world to Lionel Messi’s seventh victory in the Ballon d’Or?
We asked the editors of our GOAL International Network how they view the Ballon d’Or elections in their countries. Here are their answers.
Ballon d’Or: “Messi is the absolute leader”
Patricio Taruela (Argentine goal): “In Argentina, it doesn’t matter whether Messi deserves the award or not based on the statistics of last season.
Here, almost everyone agrees that he got it by winning the Copa America and qualifying for the World Cup too early (four days before the last qualifying match). Messi formed a team that puts the feel of the shirt above their egos, and is now the absolute captain of the national team.
Jorginho is not at the same level as Messi for Argentine football fans, Haaland and Salah have surprised many here as well.
Lewandowski’s flaw is that Poland has not been convincing at the international level. We all understand that Lewandowski deserves it. But football is more about passion that inspires us than talking about statistics.”
Haitham Mohamed (Middle East and North Africa target): “There is a lot of anger in Egypt because Mohamed Salah was only in seventh place, and fans and journalists were expecting him to end up in at least the top five, while many fans were hoping that he would win the Golden Ball.
The experts in the studio ON TIME SPORTSThe Egyptian radio, which broadcasts the ceremony, was upset with the results in general and Salah’s position in particular.
Simon Fuentes (France goal): “Opinions are mixed in France. Not many people understand Lionel Messi’s victory over Robert Lewandowski. Lewandowski is the real winner for them.
But of course some are also happy that the Ballon d’Or winner plays in Ligue 1 – even if his successes are mainly with Barcelona and Argentina. But it is an opportunity for our union to have such an ambassador.
The placements of Karim Benzema (fourth) and Kylian Mbappe (ninth) caused disappointment. Most of the French think that the former deserves to be on the podium. And the PSG striker was not that bad in the standings, despite being stronger than ever, which raises questions about the credibility of the Ballon d’Or.”
Mario Cortegana (GOAL – Real Madrid Reporter): “Real Madrid fans think that it is unfair for Messi to win the Ballon d’Or. They argue that the two cups he won are not important, that he was only third in La Liga, and that with Barcelona in that the Champions League failed again and that his start in Paris Saint-Germain was Too bad.
There is also discontent in Real Madrid’s dressing room. Toni Kroos, for example, made it clear in his podcast that Karim Benzema would be the right winner for him.
Another popular opinion is that Lewandowski deserved it because of his fantastic season and brilliant career. And because he should have won last year, as Messi mentioned in his speech.
Personally, I would have given the trophy to Lewandowski as well. I think it is very balanced between Messi and Benzema.
Alain Lima (Brazil goal): “In Brazil, there are mixed feelings about the selection, some believe that Messi deserves the award because he was the top scorer in La Liga and the best underdog team in Barcelona. And of course he finally won the title with Argentina.
Others say he failed again in the Champions League and did not score a goal against Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid in La Liga. As for the Copa America title, some say Argentina would remain titleless without Angel Di Maria as Messi put in a poor performance at a time when his national team needed it most.
In addition, the Copa America was not decisive in the Ballon d’Or elections – why should it be now?
You feel that this Ballon d’Or is a lifetime achievement award and that players like Lewandowski, Benzema, Jorginho or Kante deserve even more credit. So it’s not that people think Neymar should have won it – nobody does.”
Ballon d’Or – Klopp: “You are the journalists to blame”
Renato Misani (Chefredakteur GOAL Italien): Before he missed the two crucial penalties with the national team in qualifying for the World Cup, most journalists and fans in Italy would have preferred to give the award to Jorginho from Chelsea FC.
However, the mood on Monday was entirely on Lewandowski’s side, and almost everyone in Italy would have preferred to be called Messi, especially since Lewandowski 2020 was not given an award.
Stephen Darwin (GOAL UK): “In the UK, the Ballon d’Or is widely recognized as an important individual title for a player. While reactions to this year’s result are of course entirely subjective, there is a mixture of anger and acceptance.
Both Messi and Lewandowski have had an impressive year, with the latter certainly feeling disadvantaged, especially when you consider that the Ballon d’Or was not awarded in 2020. Few players and former experts commented on the result. Jürgen Klopp summed up what most coaches might think: the journalists vote, so the result is their fault.”
Golden Ball: What about Mindy?
Daniel Kollad (Nigeria goal): “Here in Nigeria, a large part of the fans are questioning the credibility of the award again. Many say that Robert Lewandowski definitely deserves the award. Many even find it ridiculous, including myself, that Lewandowski instead received ‘Forward’ as the consolation of the year. “. Many demand that the full criteria of the award be made available to the public, and only die-hard Messi supporters seem to be in favor of a seventh victory for their hero.
Many famous experts and former players, including those who have always supported Messi, saw Lewandowski robbed of the Ballon d’Or after an exceptional calendar year in all respects.
The fact that Edward Mendy did not receive any Ballon d’Or recognition and did not win the Lev Yashin Cup for Best Goalkeeper of the Year caused a lack of understanding across the African continent.”
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