Ballon d’Or 2021 – Traumatic year set to end again with Lionel Messi winning the award for the seventh time in his career
In the great chronicle of Lionel Messi’s legendary career, 2021 will feature prominently. It was, after all, the year the world of football changed for the player widely regarded as the greatest to ever play football. In fact, Messi’s career may well be classified before and after 2021, such was his importance for the 34-year-old.
His summer move to Paris Saint-Germain, preceded by a tearful farewell to Barcelona amid financial woes, was felt to be a problem in the football matrix. Messi was never supposed to wear any club colors other than blaugrana. He had come to embody Barça and they had come to embody him. By leaving the Camp Nou, Messi left behind a part of his soul.
The previous months weren’t much more enjoyable for him either, as Barcelona struggled to compete domestically and on the continent. While Messi was hardly to blame for it, his performances have come under scrutiny for their lethargy. He didn’t look like the same player who had delighted fans for over a decade. Just because Messi will remember 2021 forever doesn’t mean it’s been a good year.
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And yet, a below-par year for Messi could still be better than anything anyone else has produced. Still, only Robert Lewandowski (30) scored more league goals in 2021 than the Argentinian (23). Considering the international form, Messi was still the top scorer in world football with 37 goals, not to mention 14 assists for good measure, in 46 games.
Messi may not have ended the 2020/21 club season with silverware to show his efforts, and the 2021/22 season is not old enough for the 34-year-old to have had the chance to win a trophy for PSG, but it propelled Argentina to a historic Copa America triumph, L’Albiceleste’s first major honor in 28 years.
Lionel Messi mit dem Top-Scorer-Award bei der Copa
Image credit: Getty Images
This could explain why Messi has chances with many bookies to win a seventh career Ballon d’Or in 2021. Those who have only seen the 34-year-old suffer a football trauma this year might be surprised by this, But Messi’s argument is once again crowned the world’s best footballer is strong.
Circumstances may have worked in Messi’s favor given that there is no outstanding alternative to winning the sport’s most prestigious individual award, but the standard he has set this year is always higher. than anyone can match. The figures he produced prove it.
Last year Lewandowski probably would have got his hands on the famous Golden Ball if the Covid-19 pandemic had not forced the cancellation of the 2020 Ballon d’Or. The Polish striker kept his numbers high, smashing Gerd Muller’s longtime Bundesliga record last season, but his 2021 hasn’t seen a real moment of glory as Messi had the Copa America.
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: Leo Messi of Paris Saint-Germain reacts after scoring during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City at Parc des Princes on September 28, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aureli
Image credit: Getty Images
Jorginho has been put forward by those who believe Chelsea’s Champions League victory and Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph should be represented by just one player, but the central midfielder does not have the X factor of many other candidates. The same could be said of N’Golo Kante despite the esteem he carries through the sport.
Karim Benzema and Romelu Lukaku could have been the first if France and Belgium had gone further to Euro 2020 respectively. Cristiano Ronaldo’s numbers stand up to those of Messi (he averaged one goal every 104 minutes in 2021 compared to Messi’s average of one every 110 minutes), but Juventus just landed a fourth place in Serie A last season as Portugal failed to spend the last 16 to Euro 2020.
Individual awards in a team sport, like the Ballon d’Or, are always decided using some sort of artificial equation that mixes individual numbers with team achievements, but Messi’s formula, regardless of the way you divide it, always seems to be winning.
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