RObert Lewandowski looked a little disappointed in his fine dark blue tuxedo when the name of the person sitting next to him, Lionel Messi, rang out. At the ceremony of the coveted Ballon d’Or in the Théâtre du Châtelet, the Bundesliga top scorer stood in the shadow of the Argentine superstar. Not Lewandowski, but Messi, who wore a glittering suit, was honored as the best footballer on Monday in Paris – once again.
The Bundesliga top scorer had to be content with second place in the election carried out by the French specialist newspaper “France Football”. Messi, who led Argentina to win the Copa America for the first time in 28 years, received the Golden Ball for the seventh time in his career and addressed words of encouragement to his rival: “It is an honor to be here with you. You broke records and you deserved to win the Ballon d’Or. ”Lewandowski was still allowed to go on stage and was honored in a newly introduced award as the best goalscorer of the year, which was more of a consolation prize.
Disappointing evening for the Bundesliga
From the perspective of the Bundesliga, it was not the only disappointments of the evening that only placed one other player in the top 30 in BVB striker Erling Haaland (eleventh place). National goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was in fifth place against Italy’s European goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the “Trophée Yachine” named after the former Russian goalkeeper Lev Jashin. Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham and young international Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich) had to settle for second and third place in the final selection for the “Trophée Kopa” for the best young player, with the Spaniard Pedri from FC Barcelona winning. There was no German soccer player among the women, the Golden Ball was awarded to the Spaniard Alexia Putellas.
The who’s who of the football world was there in Paris. The greatest attention naturally went to Messi, who was accompanied by his wife Antonella as well as by his three sons – all in identical glitter suits. Bayern boss Oliver Kahn, coach Julian Nagelsmann and sports director Hasan Salihamidzic also insisted on supporting their goal scorer on site.
However, the sixth-placed Cristiano Ronaldo was missing, who raged from a distance against the co-organizer of the election. “Pascal Ferré lied, he used my name to advertise himself and the newspaper he works for,” wrote Ronaldo on Instagram. He responded to statements by the editor-in-chief of “France Football”, who had claimed that Ronaldo’s main goal was to end his career with more gold balls than his all-time rival Messi.
The Ballon d’Or is not a substitute for the world footballer’s choice. This election will continue to be organized by the world association FIFA, the freestyle will take place on January 17, 2022. Lewandowski was chosen as a world footballer for the first time in 2020. The Ballon d’Or, on the other hand, was not awarded last year due to the corona pandemic. From 2010 to 2015, the world footballer was awarded the Golden Ball through a cooperation between FIFA and France Football.
Lewandowski – accompanied by his wife Anna – traveled to the French capital with the hope of receiving the coveted trophy for the first time. Because the 33-year-old had set new records this year after the triple season 2020. Lewandowski surpassed Gerd Müller’s forever scoring record with 41 goals in the Bundesliga. In the current season, the Pole has already scored 25 goals in 20 competitive games for FC Bayern. Messi, on the other hand, had a rather modest year at club level with FC Barcelona and from the summer with Paris Saint-Germain.