Seven is Heaven for Lionel Messi


Anthony Abrahantes

Messi celebrates the achievement of his seventh Ballon d’Or which celebrates his accomplishments for FC Barcelona and the Argentinian National Team in the 2020-21 season.

Nicholas Calindro, Staff Writer

Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi has been awarded his seventh Ballon d’Or after narrowly beating Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

The presenter of the award, French news magazine “France Football”, deemed Messi the best performing player of the 2020-2021 season on Nov. 29. Messi’s victory extends his record as he maintains his status as the soccer player with the most Ballon d’Ors received.

However, this year’s iteration of the award has fueled many debates concerning whether or not Messi is deserving of the prestigious accolade.

For some, the award reflects Messi’s substantial season with Barcelona in La Liga and the Argentinian National Team in the 2021 Copa America hosted by Brazil. Although Barcelona finished third in La Liga, Messi was the league’s top goalscorer with 30 goals in 35 matches.

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Messi also led in other metrics, such as pass accuracy and chances created, across the European leagues. Notably, Messi captained Argentina to victory in Copa America to obtain his first international trophy with Argentina as he scored four goals and assisted five in seven games during the competition.

“Messi had a really good season in 2020 and 2021. I think the award highlights his achievements but it is definitely debatable as to whether he deserves it completely,” senior Felix Audouze said.

Messi achieved success in his 2020-2021 season with both Barcelona and the Argentinian National Team. However, at the heart of the controversy is the question of whether Polish striker Robert Lewandowski was robbed of the 2021 award after performing significantly well with Bayern Munich over the past two years.

The recent unveiling of Messi as the winner of the 2021 Ballon d’Or and his statement that Lewandowski deserved the canceled 2020 award ignited discussion over whether Lewandowski deserved the 2021 award as well following his substantial performances with Bayern Munich.

“Lewandowski undoubtedly deserved the 2020 Ballon d’Or and maintained his amazing form in 2021 also. He has been unstoppable with Bayern for 2 years and deserves recognition for his skill,” senior Isaac Zerdoun said.

In the 2020-2021 season, Lewandowski broke the record for most goals in a Bundesliga season with 41 goals in 29 matches. His 41 goals also mean he was the top goalscorer in all of Europe in the 2020-2021 season with his performance being exemplified by a streak of scoring in 19 consecutive league matches for Bayern Munich.

Although the Ballon d’Or commonly creates debates over who deserved the award, the 2021 award is a cut above the rest. Coverage of the controversy has influenced “France Football” to consider awarding Lewandowski with the 2020 Ballon d’Or following uproar over the perceived misrepresentation of Lewandowski’s performances over the past two years.

This 2021 award has the possibility of being one of the most complicated Ballon d’Ors of all time with the amount of turbulence it is causing within the soccer world.