Lionel Messi: Ballon d’Or Integrity Questioned As Rodri Pokes Holes Into 2023 Award

Lionel Messi: Ballon d’Or Integrity Questioned As Rodri Pokes Holes Into 2023 Award

Martin Moses
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Rodrigo Hernandez Cascante logo
Manchester City logoMSpain logo
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Erling Braut Haaland logo
Manchester City logoFNorway logo
Kevin De Bruyne logo
K. D. Bruyne
Manchester City logoMBelgium logo
Kylian Mbappé logo
Paris Saint Germain (PSG) logoFFrance logo
  • Rodri has taken issue with the organisation of the Ballon d'Or awards
  • The Manchester City midfielder missed out on a podium finish last year
  • Lionel Messi beat Erling Haaland to the award after winning the World Cup

The 2023 Ballon d'Or controversy has resurfaced after Manchester City's midfielder Rodri revisited the topic.

Lionel Messi beat Rodri's teammate Erling Haaland to the 2023 title in a ceremony that was held on October 30 in Paris.

Rodri, Ballon d'Or, Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Manchester City
Rodri attends the 2023 Ballon d'Or award ceremony on October 30, 2023. Photo by Pascal Le Segretain.
Source: Getty Images

Messi was always believed to be the frontrunner for the award after leading Argentina to World Cup glory in 2022. There were, however, solid arguments that Haaland deserved to win after starring in a Manchester City side that won the treble, including a maiden Champions League title.

Additionally, the Norwegian phenom chipped in with 52 goals in his first 53 appearances for the Citizens. Messi finished 105 points clear of the former Borussia Dortmund striker.

What Rodri said about Ballon d'Or

Rodri has now questioned the criteria the panel looks at after missing out on a podium finish. The Spanish midfielder was one of the unsung heroes of City's success, coming up with important goals, including the one in the Champions League final against Inter Milan.

The 27-year-old slammed the organisers for prioritising money and marketing.

"I was not surprised. This is normal. I understand very well how things work in these individual awards. They are based on marketing, money and advertising. What ultimately matters to me in football is what I achieved collectively," he said in an interview with the Mirror.

The former Atletico Madrid man finished fifth behind Kevin De Bruyne and Kylian Mbappe.

How Ballon d'Or voting works

Sports Brief has, in the past, explained how the Ballon d'Or voting process works. The rules were tweaked in 2021, making it a season-to-season award rather than a player's achievement in a calendar year.

After France Football has come up with a shortlist, a group of journalists and captains of the top 100 ranked nations vote for their top five, with each vote getting different points depending on their position.

Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)