Written By: Abidoye Babatunde
Lionel Messi was the proud recipient of his eighth Ballon d’Or at Monday’s ceremony in Paris.
The Argentine World Cup winner narrowly beat Erling Haaland to the award, however many believe Haaland deserved it more following his goalscoring exploits in Manchester City’s treble-winning year.
But was Haaland the most hard-done-to player at this year’s awards? Or was somebody else more underappreciated?
Let us know what YOU think in the comments.
I think Antoine Griezmann was much better than the 21st best player in the world this year. He was excellent for France at the World Cup and arguably LaLiga’s best player last season, with 31 goal contributions for Atlético de Madrid in 2022/23 plus nine so far this season.
I’m not saying he should have won the Ballon d’Or but I would have had him in the top 10 easily, or at least higher than Yassine Bounou!
For me, 20th place was much too low for Inter striker Lautaro Martínez, who enjoyed a superb scoring year, won a World Cup with Argentina and was a key figure in sending Inter to the Champions League final.
In addition, the fact that Liverpool’s Alisson Becker was not even included among the top 10 of the Yashin Trophy for the world’s best goalkeeper is frankly ludicrous.
Personally I think this year’s Ballon d’Or should be struck from the records purely for the fact that John Stones didn’t even make the top 30.
A treble winner who was one of the first names on the team sheet when fit, started all of Manchester City’s biggest games when fit and became one of the best marauding defenders on the planet.
But apparently not as good as Nicolò Barella.
Liverpool had a poor season in 2022/23 but Mohamed Salah still produced form that should’ve warranted him a place in the top 10.
In spite of the rest of his teammates letting him down the Egyptian still mustered up 12 goals and eight assists since January last season and had started this campaign on fire with 10 goals in 13 appearances.
The 31-year-old has added a creative edge now that his pace has altered slightly, and if keeps up this showing there will be no doubt he will be higher in next year’s ranking.
First and second choices (Griezmann and Lautaro), so I’ll go with a player who has somehow never ever cracked the top five. And he’s missed out on the top 30 every year dating back to 2017.
Toni Kroos’s vision of the game and longevity at the top has been routinely underappreciated throughout his career. He has over 30 major trophies to date, including the World Cup and five Champions League titles while being virtually irreplaceable for both club and country.
It’s a good thing he’s been vocal about not being bothered by the consistent snubs.
“Above all, it is prestigious, but not important … individual awards are absolutely not important in my opinion.”
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