Lionel Messi - 613 votes, Robert Lewandowski - 580. We don't remember such a tense choice for the best football player in the world as it was this year. Many believe that the Polish striker from Bayern Munich deserved that recognition, if nothing else, then at least because he missed out last year because the Golden Ball was not awarded due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, it also went to the Argentine for the seventh time.
player of Paris Saint-Germain, although he spent the first part of the year in Barcelona. Messi did not shine at the club level as he can and probably for the first time there was doubt about the choice of his name when it comes to the awarding of the prestigious edition organized by the famous magazine France Football, but in 2021 he managed something he has not in his career - to win a big trophy with the national team of Argentina, and that is certainly the Copa America.
Lewandowski missed the European Championship with Poland, he will play in the play-off for the World Cup in Qatar, but looking at the club scene and individual performance, the Bayern striker has dominated for the last two years.
As many as 111 goals were scored by Lewa in that period! Even Messi agreed that he deserved the award, albeit for last year. "You deserved the Golden Ball. Last year, we all agreed that you should have been a big winner," the Argentine said on the stage
Somewhat later, the Pole retaliated by congratulating Messi, as well as all the other nominated players.
"I received the award for the best striker, and no player can get recognition without a strong team and great fans behind him. Thank you for your support," Lewandowski said diplomatically, who was comforted by the award, introduced this year.
Very likely, because the organizers are aware that the player who scored a goal every 67 minutes during 2021 deserved recognition before the one who needed 42 minutes longer to score. At the same time, looking at the club scene, Lewandowski scored 21 goals more than Messi (53:32) in only two more appearances, but from much fewer attempts (3.5: 6).
Lothar Matthaus, a former member of the German national team and winner of the Golden Ball in 1990, was much more open. "2021 is 12 months long, not just the one in which Messi had the greatest success. I am a Messi fan, but he does not shine on the field at the moment."
"Honestly, I do not understand this world. With all due respect to Messi and other competitors, Lewandowski has deserved the award ", stated the former Partizan coach dejectedly. Bild journalists were even more direct.
The reporting on the awarding of the Golden Ball ended with the title: "Scandalous choice! Lewandowski is just another", with the caption: "Why Messi again?"