Robert Lewandowski is left without the maximum recognition again and Lionel Messi already accumulates his seventh Ballon d'Or.
Some people point out that Messi deserved the title won with Argentina in the Copa América held in Brazil this year. Photo: IG-_rl9
LatinAmerican Post| Nicolás Donoso Álvarez
Escucha este artículo
Leer en español: Lewandowski tendrá que seguir esperando su balón de oro
Some people point out that Messi deserved the title won with Argentina in the Copa América held in Brazil this year. Others, meanwhile, point out that the Ballon d'Or had to be kept by Jorginho, after winning the Eurocup and the UEFA Champions League, two of the most important trophies that a player can get. Not a small amount indicated that Robert Lewandowski clearly deserved to keep the trophy after winning titles again with Bayern Munich and breaking his own record for goals in a single season in the Bundesliga.
However, on this occasion, it was Lionel Messi who, after a difficult year with Barcelona, a not entirely convincing start with Paris Saint Germain and an extraordinary Copa America, has been left with the Ballon d'Or of this year, the seventh so far in his career.
The Copa América, a determining factor for Messi's triumph
For France Football the Copa America won by Lionel Messi, in which Argentina defeated Brazil in the final and Messi was chosen as the best player in the championship, had a lot to do with the Ballon d'Or of this season. He ended years of drought of titles for his country.
And, if one takes into account his last season at the individual level in clubs, the Argentine star only managed to win the Copa del Rey, remaining in third position in La Liga and only reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League. While the current campaign has not been able to add too many minutes at PSG to be able to say that he has been a key player in Mauricio Pochettino's team.
A title in this type of event seems to change everything, and in the case of Messi it has quite possibly happened that since if he had not managed to win the Copa América it would have been very difficult for him to even be on the list of the three best players.
Has soccer been fair to Lewandowski?
And if Messi wouldn't have the Ballon d'Or of this year, one that was again very close to achieving it was Robert Lewandowski. The Polish was placed in second position and had to settle for the "consolation" award of the day: scorer of the year. It was a recognition that was given for the first time at this gala; just before the award that everyone was interested in and yearned for, as if it were a coincidence.
As mentioned above, Lewandowski has scored a total of 64 goals so far in 2021, and set a new record when last Bundesliga season he got 41 goals and distribute 11 assists in just 29 games, clinching four titles.
In 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, France Football decided not to deliver the Ballon d'Or, an award that possibly would have gone to a Lewandowski who, at 33, continues to seek to win the first of his extraordinary career. What else must the Polish has to do to get it delivered to him at some point? Only the judges have the answer to such a clear question, because the exorbitant figures that Lewandowski manages to establish and break year after year deserve recognition.
The Ballon d'Or is part of the business, not the Game
The controversies that arise as a consequence of the winner of the Ballon d'Or year after year are repetitive and seem to be part of soccer itself, but it must be taken into consideration that the award is subject to the business that this sport operates through. The recognition is delivered by a panel that clearly has its own criteria when choosing the best player. The evaluation is subjective since although it is said that it is an award that measures the best player of the most recent season in the world, in many cases group successes prevail over the level exhibited individually.
This does not mean that Messi has not had a great season or that he is not one of the best players in the history of this sport, because that is indisputable. But it should be noted that Lewandowski has done everything and much more on the field of play to have, at least, a Ballon d'Or and if last year it was not given, in the season that just passed it gave the feeling of that he did deserve it.
Out of any discussion, it is clear that this and other awards that are awarded year after year remain at that, recognitions that are important, but do not have to be relevant when evaluating how good a player is or how successful. it was his last season or his career in general. And in the case of Lewandowski, with or without a prize, his is simply huge.