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Thursday, January 6, 2022

Messi’s record Ballon d’Or award hasn’t gone down well in Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s dynamic midfielder, Toni Kroos has said PSG star, Lionel Messi does not deserve to win the Ballon d’Or.

Messi on Monday won the award for a record seventh time in a ceremony held in Paris ahead of Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema.

Speaking on his official podcast, the German had a little rant about the fact that Messi had won instead of players such as Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It’s absolutely not deserved,” he said.

“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.

“When I see how many decisive goals Cristiano has scored lately – Manchester United are still in the Champions League thanks to him alone – then, in my eyes, Cristiano would have also come before Messi.”

Benzema finished fourth in the final standings, while Ronaldo was down in sixth.

Kroos’s former Real Madrid team-mate Iker Casillas also had a bit of a pop in a post on Twitter.

“It is increasingly difficult for me to believe in football awards,” he wrote. “For me, Messi, he is one of the five best players in all of history but you have to know how to list the most outstanding players in a season. It’s not that hard.”

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Real Madrid ended up empty-handed at the 2021 Ballon d’Or awards but it was a good night for Barca as Pedri won the Kopa Trophy, Alexia Putellas claimed the Women’s Ballon d’Or and Messi, of course, made even more history with his latest achievement.

Messi topped the chart after enjoying another memorable year with club and country.

He helped Barcelona to Copa del Rey glory back in April, before going on to land a first senior trophy with Argentina at the 2021 Copa America – a competition that also saw him named Player of the Tournament.

The football world was stunned shortly after that success when it emerged that Barcelona could not afford to tie a talismanic figure to a new contract, with a career-long association with Catalan heavyweights brought to a close as Messi headed to France.

He has found the going a little tougher at PSG, but registered three assists on his last outing against Saint-Etienne and has four goals to his name through 11 appearances.

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