- A large section of social media users were adamant Lewandowski should have won the Ballon d’Or
- Lewandowski finished second behind Messi, who won the award for a record seventh time
- The Poland international was feted with the newly-introduced ‘best striker in the world’ accolade
Social media went wild on Tuesday, November 30 with a heated debate on who deserved the 2021 Ballon d’Or more between Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski.
As TUKO.co.ke reported, Messi was crowned the best player on the planet by France Football for a record seventh time in a colourful ceremony in Paris, with Lewandowski managing a second-place finish.
The Bayern Munich forward was however also recognized on the night, as France Football feted him with the ‘Striker of the Year' award.
The Ballon d’Or was voted for by a total of 180 journalists from all around the world, with Messi edging Lewandowski in the end.
This however did not augur well with large sections of fans, who felt Lewandowski had a stellar 2021 and perhaps deserved the award more.
Fans made their feelings known, particularly on Twitter, as they went in on why they felt the Pole had been denied his best chance of clinching the coveted individual award.
“Lewandowski and his Bayern Munich team should take their anger to the Champions League game against Barcelona,” one fan said.
“Oh so France Football created the Striker of the Year thing and gave it to Lewandowski to properly rob him the Ballon D'Or next huh? Messi winning this award is laughable,” another added.
“Congratulations Robert Lewandowski, you are the best player in the world for the second consecutive year! 2 times Ballon d'or winner in my books,” said another.
“I strongly think that if Lewandowski was "Ronaldo" with those numbers and trophies, he'd have won the award.”
Messi vs Lewandowski in numbers
In terms of goals for club and country, Lewandowski was miles ahead of anyone on the planet as his numbers were simply astronomical.
The 33-year old bagged a staggering 47 goals in 44 matches in 2020, and followed it up with 64 goals in 54 matches this year.
With Bayern Munich, he won the Bundesliga, Club World Cup, and was the Bundesliga top scorer last season.
Messi’s numbers are quite unique as he almost single-handedly carried both Barcelona and Argentina to success last season.
Not only was the Argentine the top scorer in the La Liga last season, he also broke the record for the most international goals in CONMEBOL.
The Argentine also became the highest goal scorer for a single club in history and won the Copa del Rey with Barcelona and emerged the Copa America’s top scorer, with his goals helping Argentina to his first ever international piece of silverware.
Messi’s message to Lewandowski
Interestingly enough, despite winning his seventh Ballon d’Or, Messi was the first to admit Lewandowski should have been feted in 2020.
"I’d like to mention Robert, it’s been a real honour to compete with him. I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or, you deserved it.”
The Ballon d’Or ceremony last year was cancelled by France Football, who blamed the turn of events on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Sports Brief News