Is Messi’s grip on the Ballon D’or getting loose?

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the 30 nominees for the 2021 Ballon d’or, which will be presented to the winner on 29th November 2021at Théâtre du Châtelet of Paris. 

Lionel Messi is the major favourite to win the record-extending seventh trophy. Messi ended his wait for a major international trophy after winning the Copa America with Argentina in the summer. He has scored 37 goals and recorded 14 assists in 46 games for club and country this year.

Messi was asked about his biggest challengers for this award in an interview with France Football and this is what he said: “I have two players from my team that I will obviously vote for: Neymar and Kylian [Mbappe],” “Then there are players who individually have had a great season, like [Robert] Lewandowski or [Karim] Benzema, who also had a great year.”

Lewandowski certainly has better individual output than Messi but lacks a major trophy besides the Bundesliga, Jorginho faces the complete opposite problem despite the European successes. Kante and Jorginho both were instrumental in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph last season.

Kante was crucial for the later stages of the Champions League and was UEFA’s Player of the Match in both semi-final legs against Real Madrid and the final against Manchester City, while Jorginho played a crucial part in Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph. 

The 2020 Ballon d’or event was cancelled due to the major outbreak of the Corona Virus in Europe. Lewandowski missed out on the 2020 award, with the 33-year-old being a major favourite as his side went on to win 5 major trophies including the Champions League. 

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However, he’s still one of the top contenders for his brilliant individual performance. Lewandowski won the 2020-21 European Golden Shoe as he scored a record-breaking 41 goals as Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga for the 9th consecutive time. Many believe that Lewandowski should be winning the trophy for his lethal goal-scoring form of 50 goals in 41 games. The only thing that would stop him from winning will be, Lionel Messi. 

The Argentine had a decent year of 37 goals and 14 assists by his standards but his Copa America glory is what makes him the favourite this year. The 34-year-old ended his international trophy drought of 14 years this summer with Copa America. This trophy meant a lot for the Argentinian fans and Messi as they won their first international trophy after 28 years having lost the World Cup and two Copa America finals.

Messi topped the charts in both goals and assists in the tournament (4 goals and 5 assists) and was named Player of the Tournament. Lewandowski’s individual performances are phenomenal but failed to win any major trophy. On the other hand, Jorginho has won both the Champions League and Euro 2020 but beating Messi and Lewandowski will be tough for him. 

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Messi’s individual and collective achievements are perfectly balanced as compared to the rest, which is why Messi will be the front-runner for winning the Ballon d’or this year. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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