COMMENT: Respect, pieta, Messi’s farewell coronation? Or the Copa América factor? –

In the broad portfolio of the France Football poll, including voters from the Kingdom of Lesotho and Cambodia, Belize, Togo and the Dominican Republic, South America, Europe and all continents for sure.

Nevertheless, football Europe feels cheated and deceived. Germany, Italy and the vast majority of Anglo-Saxon countries the most.

They had their candidates for this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Photo: Benoit Tessier, Reuters

Lionel Messi at the announcement of the Golden Ball.Photo: Benoit Tessier, Reuters

Bayern Gunner Robert Lewandowski.

The architect of the Italian campaign for the title of European Champions and Chelsea for the victory in the Champions League Jorginha.

But also Kanté, Benzem, Salah, Mbappé, Neymar, Kevin de Bruyne …

And above all that, should Messi, who has spent the two most turbulent seasons of his career, trump? After all, he dropped out of the Champions League with Barcelona last year, and this year in the Paris SG jersey he is definitely not the star player capable of deciding matches on his own with his kumšt and genius, as he used to be in the past. And that at the end of his Spanish engagement, he struggled with Barcelona to third place and became La Liga’s top scorer with 30 goals?

The Polish sniper in the service of Bayern Lewandowski gave 11 more in the Bundesliga, he shot 47 of them in the club with the national team, he won his seventh championship title with Bayern, the German Cup, and he also won the club championship with him. This season he has 25 goals in 20 competitive matches. And just on the sidelines – when Messi and Lewandowski competed in a direct confrontation in the Champions League quarter-finals a year ago, the match for the Argentines and the Catalan giant ended in an incredible 2: 8 disgrace.

Photo: Christophe Ena, CTK / AP

Robert Lewandowski was second in the Golden Ball poll.Photo: Christophe Ena, CTK / AP

That this year’s Golden Ball is marked 2021? That Messi also reminded us after the coronation of Paris that if the coronavirus pandemic had not prevented the announcement of the holder of the 2020 Golden Ball, Lewandowski would have become one? That it is not appropriate to juggle the words a scandalous choice, when only the past months of this year were to be evaluated, although many voters did not deny that they included players’ performances for the last two years, when the poll did not take place last year? And that even in the past eleven months, Lewandowski and a host of other players on the football turf have shone much brighter than Messi?

That the words of the German icon and Golden Ball holder Lothar Matthäus that he no longer understands today’s world after this year’s election are appropriate?

“He has broken Gerd Müller’s record of the century, he is again at the top of the shooters in each of the competitions, he has been unrivaled in the last two years,” Matthäus Lewandowski recalled actions that contrasted with the results of this year’s election.

That Matthäus is not alone in questioning the choice? That Madrid club legend Iker Casillas, as well as Toni Kroos, Cristiano Ronaldo and a plethora of other former and current players, have joined him? And Gary Lineker even with the fact that Lewandowski should be awarded the Golden Ball in 2020, as Messi himself suggested?

The cries that will not change anything at this year’s coronation of the 34-year-old Argentine.

The seventh coronation, to which Messi was helped, of course, by a certain amount of piety and respect, probably a great name and reminiscence for his entire career, but first and foremost the Copa América factor, to which Europe does not pay as much weight as voters from the South American continent and the rest of the world.

It does not take into account what the June triumph at the South American Championship meant for Argentina and Messi. That Messi had been waiting for him all his career and Argentina for twenty-eight years. That it all took place in the football marathon Maracaná in Rio, Brazil, and Messi was his protagonist with four goals and five assists in seven matches.

That is why the world has awarded him the Golden Ball, even though Europe is angry with the election and calls it scandalous.

Zdeněk Pavlis

Zdeněk Pavlis has been working as a sports journalist and publicist for fifty years. He worked in the editorial offices of Zemědělské and then Zemské noviny, Lidové noviny, Svobodného slova and has been publishing on the most visited Czech sports internet portal since 2008. He has been cooperating with the Slovak football weekly Tip for decades. Since 2001 he has been the chairman of the Club of Sports Journalists of the Czech Republic. He has written more than twenty books. For example: 50x Footballer of the Year, Wizard, Djoker Novak Djokovic, Josef Bican – Pepi, League Gunners Club, Kings of Football, Petr Cech: Mr. Perfect, Golden Ball, Gianluigi Buffon: superman Gigi, Iron Sparta, From Bicana to Lafat. He is the holder of the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize awarded to Czech and Slovak writers for non-fiction and the laureate of the Dr. Václav Jíra.

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COMMENT: Respect, pieta, Messi’s farewell coronation? Or the Copa América factor? –