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Why does Lionel Messi deserve to win the Ballon d’Or for a record eighth time?

Why does Lionel Messi deserve to win the Ballon d’Or for a record eighth time?

Lionel Messi is a strong contender to win the Ballon d’Or for several reasons.

The format of the Ballon d’Or remained largely unchanged from its inception in 1956, until voters’ opinion shifted from the calendar year to the 2022 European competition season.

But manager Pep Guardiola has hinted at sweeping changes for France’s national team to consider ahead of the 2023 awards ceremony.

“The Ballon d’Or should have two sides: one for Lionel Messi and one for the other players,” concluded the Manchester City coach.

“What would you say is Messi’s worst season?

“That’s what’s best for the rest of the players.”

 

Erling Haaland, Guardiola’s talisman at Manchester City, is one of Messi’s main rivals on the ball this year. But why is the former Argentina national team coach so confident that the Ballon d’Or will fall into Messi’s hands eight years from now?

Victory in the World cup

Almost 1.5 billion people gathered to witness the greatest achievement of Messi’s career.

In front of a fifth of humanity, Messi doubled the score as Argentina’s mainstay to host the World Cup in 1936. Messi won his second Ballon d’Or and became the first man to be named star player in two World Cups, winning five of his seven matches.

Highlighting the world’s biggest show has not always been enough to win recognition for French football. Fabio Cannavaro became the last World Cup winner to win the Ballon d’Or in 2006 after Italy’s victory. But back-to-back wins in Qatar do not claim that Messi has made a name for himself this season.

The most creative player in Europe

 

Messi’s first league goal was scored by Samuel Eto’o against Real Madrid in 2005.

Almost 20 years later, Messi still denies allegations of collusion and is transparent about Eto’o as the head of Cameroonian football.

The skills of the continent’s elite.

No player has scored more goals than Messi (16 goals) in Europe’s top five leagues in the 2022/2023 season, which is the schedule the Ballon d’Or selectors will consider. The 36-year-old has not relied on the recent hot streak of his Paris Saint-Germain teammates and has 16.2 expected assists on the continent. No other player has reached triple figures on open passes into the box.

Messi scored 120 goals, of which only 2 were crosses.

Messi has played so many balls between defenses in Ligue 1 that his total of 58 balls is more like that of the entire club than any individual player. 74 teams in Europe’s top five leagues, including Champions League finalist Inter, failed to match Messi’s performance.

Beyond football

Every year, more than 1,000 representatives of the sports media from more than 70 countries come together to select the best athletes from the prestigious Laureus Sports.

It is a much more competitive field than the Ballon d’Or, with many competitors, from motorcyclists to marathon runners.

Since its inception in 2000, individual sports figures have dominated the award, with only one footballer winning the gong.

Messi received the honor for the second time in his career earlier this year.

If this magical Argentinian is the best male athlete in the world, he is also, by definition, the best soccer player.

A fitting farewell

Anyone can accept that Paul Newman won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1987 not for his role in The Color of Money, but 20 years after the peak of his film career. Unlike Newman, who has already politely applauded the other actor’s achievements six times, this won’t be Messi’s first honour.

But perhaps even the greatest player in the history of the game deserves a farewell to his place among the elite.

Messi may have led Inter Miami to the franchise’s first trophy in his first month at the club, but he needed manpower to win the American Ballon d’Or. Neymar, who moved to Barcelona in mid-2013, is the most recent player to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or while playing for a club outside Europe’s top five leagues.

David Beckham is the only MLS player in modern history to be nominated for this award, despite receiving no votes in 2007.

There is little risk of Messi winning another Ballon d’Or, but there are good reasons to believe he deserves an eighth place this year.

 

For more updates on Lionel Messi and Ballon d’Or,  please visit sportsearchers.com

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