Lionel Messi says Robert Lewandowski deserved to win 2020 Ballon d’Or but 2021 announcement sparks outcry that Bayern Munich striker should have won it this year
Lionel Messi has called on France Football to award Robert Lewandowski the 2020 Ballon d’Or award.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward scooped a record seventh title at this year’s awards, with Lewandowski in second and Chelsea and Italy midfielder Jorginho coming third.
The Coronavirus pandemic prevented a ceremony from happening last year, meaning no one was the recipient of the prize but Messi is hopeful Bayern Munich star Lewandowski gets recognised for his achievements in 2020.
“Robert, you deserve your Ballon d’Or. Last year, everyone was in agreement to say that you were the big winner of this award,” Messi said as he collected his trophy.
“Hopefully France Football will give you the 2020 Ballon d’Or. We all believe you deserved it and I hope you can have it at home.”
However, many believe Lewandowski – who won the Striker of the Year – should have beaten Messi to the award this year.
The Poland international has enjoyed a fine 2021 having won yet another league title with Bayern, while also beating Gerd Muller’s haul of 40 goals in a Bundesliga season, a record once dubbed ‘impossible’ to beat.
Plenty of fans have called talkSPORT to dispute the result, labelling it ‘a joke’ and Darren Bent agrees Lewandowski should feel hard done by, especially with Messi making a gradual start to life at PSG this summer.
“I expected more from Messi at PSG,” Bent told talkSPORT Breakfast. “I expected him to hit the ground a lot smoother and better than he has done. His goal return isn’t great.
“But Lewandowski, the season where they had no ceremony and he didn’t win the Ballon d’Or he was head and shoulders above everyone else.
“This year there’s not much between the two in terms of goals and assists but for me you’ve got to give it to Lewandowski because you’ve got to take the last two years into consideration.
“His standards haven’t dropped, if anything he’s got better. It’s not robbery that Messi’s won it… Messi’s numbers are still incredible.”