Golden ball: the time for the verdict is coming

Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi with the ball in the 3-1 victory over Saint-Etienne at the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne, France on November 28, 2021 Jeff PACHOUD AFP

Text by: Farid Achache Follow

3 min

Monday, November 29, at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the winner of the 2021 Ballon d'Or will be revealed.

Among the big favorites, three names stand out clearly from the others: Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski.


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Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema or the eternal Cristiano Ronaldo: many contenders jostle behind Lionel Messi, who could extend his reign with a seventh Golden Ball, Monday at the gala awarding the prestigious trophy for best player of the year in Paris.

"I'm sick of giving it to Messi"

A seventh wonder for Messi? The Argentinean has the force of habit on his side. Since 2008, he and "CR7" have confiscated all the Golden Balls except one, in 2018, won by the Croatian Luka Modrić. At 34, Messi didn't have a great year with FC Barcelona (only a Copa del Rey) and started slowly with PSG, but he finally guided Argentina to their first trophy under his reign, the Copa America, kidnapped from the great Brazilian rival. " 

I'm sick of giving it to Messi, what did he win last year

?" OK, the Copa America, but with Barcelona what did he do


 “, Was carried away in Italian on Prime Video the consultant Patrice Évra, former side of Manchester United or Olympique de Marseille. 

Besides Messi, Lewandowski could well win the votes of the 180 jurors, one journalist per country (the vote ended on October 24).

Due to the Covid epidemic,

France Football


did not award a Ballon d'Or last year.

That year Lewandowski, who won the Champions League with Bayern Munich, would have had every chance.

Everyone has seen what I have done and what I continue to do,

 ” Lewandowski himself told


, recalling that he notably broke Gerd Müller's incredible record by one unit by scoring 41 Bundesliga 2020-2021 goals.

Behind the center forward, all of Poland dreams of a first Golden Ball.

Karim Benzema, the class and personality of a winner

The Golden Ball crowns the class and personality of a player, but also his record over the year. Karim Benzema also has the class and personality of a winner, even if he won neither La Liga nor C1 with Real Madrid, and failed in the round of 16 with France at the Euro. At 33, “Benz” is at the top of his game. He guided the Blues to a victory in the League of Nations with two anthology goals against Belgium (3-2) then Spain (2-1). Since 1998 and the victory of Zinédine Zidane, the French have often been well placed in the race for the Ballon d'Or, like Karim Benzema this year, but never winners. 

Brazilian-born Italian Jorginho can believe it too.

He won everything, the Euro with the “Nazionale” and the C1 with Chelsea.

Except that the defensive midfielder does not have the talent of the first cities, and the Golden Ball almost always crowns attackers.

It is also for this reason that goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, PSG's second chance, is starting from a long way, even if he was voted best player of the Euro.

For me, the Golden Ball is for Kanté or Jorginho, who deserve it


I don't understand why people say: "He

's just a midfielder,


"said Patrice Évra.


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