Lionel Messi calls on France Football to award Robert Lewandowski 2020 Ballon d’Or
- Messi won a record-extending 7th Ballon d'Or of his career
- Messi said it was a “real honour to compete” with Lewandowski
- "Everyone knows and we agree that you were the winner last year," Messi said
Lionel Messi wants France Football to retrospectively award the cancelled 2020 Ballon d’Or to Robert Lewandowski, saying the Bayern Munich striker deserved to win the coveted prize and that it was a “real honour to compete” with him.
Messi won a record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or of his career in a ceremony in Paris on Monday.
“I would like to mention Robert Lewandowski, it’s been a real honour to compete with you,” Messi said in his acceptance speech. “Everyone knows and we agree that you were the winner last year. I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or - you deserve it and you should have it at home.”
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“I think Robert Lewandowski had a great year. Year after year, he improves and shows the excellent striker he is, as well as his ability to score goals. This year he was awarded as the top scorer. Of course, he can certainly aspire to that level next year, thanks to his way of being on the pitch. And in addition, he plays for a big club.”
Lewandowski was the outright favourite to win the Ballon d’Or in 2020, with his goal-scoring exploits leading Bayern Munich to its second ‘treble’. However, the ceremony was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Messi, who won the Copa America title with Argentina – his first major trophy with the national team – as well as the Copa del Rey with Barcelona, was in a close race with Lewandowski for the Ballon d’Or this year.
The Paris Saint Germain (PSG) forward pipped the Pole, who won the inaugural best striker award, by just 33 votes. Messi received 613 votes compared to Lewandowski’s 580. Jorginho finished third with 460 votes, after winning the Champions League with Chelsea and the Euro 2020 title with Italy.
Chelsea was also awarded the inaugural club of the year accolade for having the most nominees for the men’s and women’s Ballon d’Or. Blues goalkeeper Edouard Mendy finished second for the Yashin trophy, behind PSG’s Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Barcelona midfielder Pedri was awarded the Kopa Trophy, given to the best player under the age of 21. The women’s Ballon d’Or was bagged by Barcelona Femini captain Alexia Putellas.