"It is absolutely not deserved" - When Toni Kroos blasted decision to award Lionel Messi the Ballon d'Or award 

Toni Kroos was among those who were not happy with the decision
Toni Kroos was among those who were not happy with the decision

Lionel Messi is the favorite to win the Ballon d'Or award this year. He last won the award in 2021, but the decision was contested.

Real Madrid star Toni Kroos was not pleased when France Football handed Messi the Ballon d'Or in 2021. The German believed it was not the right decision and hinted that it should have been Robert Lewandowski, who finished second in the race.

Chelsea star Jorginho was third on the list, after winning the UEFA Champions League and the EURO 2020 in the season. He was once touted as the favorite for the award, which Messi eventually won.

While many pundits, fans, and footballers believed it was not justified to give Messi the award, only a few were vocal about it. Kroos was among the latter, and expressed his displeasure openly (via Madrid Zone):

"It is absolutely not deserved. There is no doubt that Messi, with Cristiano, has been the player of the last decade, but this year, there should've been others ahead of him."

Messi played 47 matches in the 2020-21 season for Barcelona and scored 38 goals, along with registering 14 assists. Lewandowski, on the other hand, scored 48 goals with nine assists in 40 matches for Bayern Munich.

The German was not the only Real Madrid legend to question the decision from France Football. Iker Casillas tweeted:

"It is increasingly difficult for me to believe in football awards. Messi is one of the best, but you have to know who is the most outstanding player after the season. It's not that hard."

Lionel Messi's 2021 Ballon d'Or win was questioned by Lothar Matthaus too

Germany legend Lothar Matthaus was not pleased with France Football either for giving the Ballon d'Or award to Lionel Messi in 2021. He admitted that the decision was beyond his understanding (via PSG Talk):

"Honestly, I don't understand anything anymore. With all due respect to Messi and the other great players named, none deserved it as much as Lewandowski. France Football didn't award the prize last year, and if only because of all the titles that Robert has won with Bayern [in] 2020, he is unrivalled not only in the last two years.
"But even if you only take 2021 into account, he was better than the rest. He broke Gerd Muller's record of the century, is again top of the top scorers list in every competition and has surpassed everyone nationally and internationally this year as well."

This year, Lionel Messi is once again the favorite for the Ballon d'Or. He won the FIFA World Cup with Argentina, playing a leading part in the campaign, and has also been a stronger performer for PSG so far in the season.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat