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Lionel Messi wants a Ballon d’Or for Robert Lewandowski

Messi, who joined Paris St Germain on a free transfer after finishing as La Liga's top scorer with Barcelona, collected 613 points, with Bayern Munich's Lewandowski named best striker, getting 580.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: November 30, 2021 4:16:07 pm
messi lewandowskiMessi finished with 613 points to top prolific Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski on 580. (Source: Reuters)

Argentina’s Lionel Messi on Tuesday won the Ballon d’Or award for the best player in the world, beating Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho to lift football’s most prestigious trophy yet again. But the record-stretching seventh time winner felt that Lewandowski was deprived of the award in 2020.

Messi added to his 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019 trophies after winning the Copa America for the first time with his country last July. Messi, who joined Paris St Germain on a free transfer from Barcelona during the close season after finishing as La Liga’s top scorer with the Spanish club, collected 613 points, with Bayern Munich’s Lewandowski, named best striker, getting 580.

2020 awards were canceled because the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season. The 33-year-old Lewandowski set a new single-season scoring record for the Bundesliga with 41 goals – one more than late Germany great Gerd Muller – when he scored in the last minute of the last game.

Lewandowski netted in 19 consecutive games in all competitions for Bayern from February to September and he just missed out on equaling the record of scoring in 16 Bundesliga games in a row. Overall, he already has 25 goals in 20 games for Bayern this season. His 11 goals in 12 games for Poland this year took his international tally to 74 in 128 games, just six less than Messi.

While giving an acceptance speech after collecting the trophy in Paris, the Argentine made special mention of Lewandowski and said, “I would like to mention Robert Lewandowski, it’s been a real honour to compete with you. Everyone knows and we agree that you were the winner last year. I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or – you deserve it and you should have it at home.”

“I think Robert Lewandowski had a great year. Year after year, he improves and shows the excellent striker he is, as well as his ability to score goals. This year he was awarded as the top scorer. Of course he can certainly aspire to that level next year, thanks to his way of being on the pitch. And in addition, he plays for a big club.”

Messi, meanwhile, counts two more Ballon d’Or awards than longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who was sixth in the voting. In his final season with the Spanish giant he netted 38 overall, winning his last trophy with a superb performance in the Copa del Rey final. At the Copa America, Messi was inspirational, finishing joint-top scorer with four goals and leading with five assists. Then he stunned the world by joining Paris Saint-Germain.

While Messi admitted that the Copa America title with Argentina was special, it came in a difficult year for the 34-year old. “It’s incredible to be here again. Two years ago I thought it was the last time. Winning the Copa America was key,” Messi said at Paris’s Theatre du Chatelet.”It is a special year for me with this Copa America title. It meant a lot to win at the Maracana stadium and I was so happy to celebrate with the people from Argentina.

“I don’t know if it’s the best year of my life, I’ve had a long career, but it was a special one with the title with Argentina after the tough times and the criticism.”

 

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A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

Jorginho, who won the Champions League with Chelsea and the European championship with Italy, ended up third on 460, ahead of France’s Karim Benzema and Ngolo Kante in fourth and fifth places respectively.

Chelsea, named club of the year, also had keeper Edouard Mendy finishing second in the Yashin trophy behind Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The women’s Ballon d’Or went to Alexia Putellas after the Spain midfielder guided Barcelona to Champions League glory.

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