Lionel Messi's Golden Ball win has led to a lot of misunderstanding, especially in Germany.

Many prominent figures believe that Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski should have been awarded the World Footballer of the Year award.

Messi, who moved from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain this year, received slightly more votes than his Polish competitor: 613 to 580. Lewandowski impressed this year by scoring again on the assembly line.

"Honestly, I don't understand the world after this election. With all due respect to Messi and the other nominees, but the only one who deserved it was Lewandowski," said Bayern icon Lothar Matthäus.

Former Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn also does not understand the choice for Messi.

"Lewandowski would have deserved the Golden Ball, because he has been doing an excellent job every day for years. But congratulations to Messi," he wrote on Twitter.

Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball for the seventh time.

Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball for the seventh time.

Photo: AFP

Kroos: 'This is absolutely not fair'

Real Madrid playmaker Toni Kroos expressed strong criticism.

"I am not interested in individual prizes, but if you do award them, then it has to be fair. And that is definitely not the case this time as far as I am concerned," said the German.

"There is no doubt that Messi, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, is the player of the decade and has qualities that others will never have, but now others should have come first. The best player has to be number one."

Lewandowski himself remained tidy after his second place.

"Congratulations to Messi and Alexia Putellas (the women's winner, ed.) and congratulations to all the nominees," he wrote on Twitter.

"I have been voted the best striker and no one can take an individual prize without a strong team and loyal fans behind them. Thank you for your support."

Messi was already the record holder with six Golden Balls.

He previously won the Ballon d'Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019. Last year the prize was not awarded due to the corona pandemic.

Congratulations Leo Messi and @alexiaputellas winners of the #BallonDor2021, congratulations also to all nominated players!👏 I won Striker of the Year Award and no Player can win an individual award without strongest team and loyal fans behind him.

Thank you for your support🤜🤛

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Authorlewy_officialMoment of places21: 28 - 29 November 2021

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