The Ballon d’Or


Vedh Vinayak

The world’s most populous sport. The biggest individual trophy within that sport: the Ballon d’Or. One of soccer’s most prestigious prizes that is awarded to the individual with the best performance of the year. The Ballon d’Or ceremony was held recently on Monday, November 29th. Winning the award, one of the greatest players of all time, Lionel Messi. The Argentine has won 6 previous awards, holding the record for the most Ballon d’Ors won. He is also the only player to win this prestigious award in 3 different decades. In 2021 he won the COPA America, a South American tournament, his first-ever international trophy. He had the most assists (5) and joint most goals (4). He finished as player of the tournament and helped Argentina end their 28-year COPA America drought. He scored 30 goals in La Liga for Barcelona. The only person who scored more goals in their league was Robert Lewandowski.

Coming second this year was the unfortunate Robert Lewandowski. Many people believe that the German striker should’ve won this year’s award. Last year due to COVID 19, the Ballon d’Or was cancelled. Many believe Lewandowski was the undisputed winner. The German striker scored 34 goals in the Bundesliga and 15 goals in the Champions League. He won the Champions League, Bundesliga and the DFB cup. Essentially, he won every single competition with Bayern Munich he participated in. Many people believe that the award should’ve been given to him in 2020 even Messi has said he deserved the award and was the undisputed winner. 

“Robert, you deserve your Ballon d’Or. Last year, everyone was in agreement to say that you were the big winner of this award. Hopefully France Football will give you the 2020 Ballon d’Or. We all believe you deserved it and I hope you can have it at home,” said Messi during his acceptance speech.

However, while everyone is in agreement about Lewandowski deserving the 2020 Ballon d’Or, there is extreme controversy about this year’s award. A popular opinion is that Lewandowski should’ve won over Messi. Lewandowski won more trophies than Messi. He won the Bundesliga, DFL-Supercup, the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. Messi won the Copa Del Rey and the COPA America. He scored 41 goals in only 29 appearances in the Bundesliga and won the European Golden Shoe beating the two soccer legends Ronaldo and his rival in this year’s vote, Messi. It is believed that even Lewandowski’s 2020/2021 season performance was enough to secure him the win and his 2019/2020 season enforces this. Anyhow, Messi won due to his amazing performances in the COPA America(his first ever major international trophy), La Liga and Copa Del Rey. Messi performed better than Lewandowski at the international level. Who knows who truly deserved the Ballon d’Or? This controversy may have unfolded if Lewandowski had won. Maybe someone else should’ve won. Regardless, congratulations to Lionel Messi. Hopefully, Lewandowski can win in the future as he was denied in 2020. Despite the winner, the contest is a really interesting one to follow!