VAM News update
There are indications that Lionel Messi may win the eighth Ballon d’Or of his remarkable career when this year’s ceremony to crown the planet’s best footballer takes place in Paris this Monday evening.
Only two other players have won the Ballon d’Or since Ronaldo claimed his first in 2008, Luka Modric won it in 2018 and Karim Benzema was crowned last year following a brilliant season with Real Madrid.
Messi is set to benefit from a recent change which means the award is now based on a player’s record over the last season, rather than over the course of the calendar year.
Last season saw Messi led Argentina to glory at the World Cup in Qatar, where he scored seven times and was named the tournament’s best player.
“I always said that the Ballon d’Or should be in two sections, one for Messi, and after that look for the other one,” Guardiola said recently.
“Haaland should win. We won the treble and he scored, I don’t know, 50 million goals.
“But of course, if you tell me the worst season of Messi, it would be the best season for the rest of the players.
Messi’s season at club level with Paris Saint-Germain was underwhelming, even if he won Ligue 1 alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
He scored 21 goals for the French club, but was clearly never happy in Paris and was even jeered by his own supporters at times, before moving to Inter Miami in Major League Soccer earlier this year.
There is at least a case to say this should be Mbappe’s time.
He was clearly PSG’s most important player last season, scoring 41 goals, and was also the World Cup’s top scorer with eight goals after his incredible hat-trick in that epic final.
The French lobby is strong in favour of Mbappe, 24, winning a prize organised in France and handed over in Paris.