"It would have been great for everyone if he had won" - Dani Alves picks surprise candidate ahead of Lionel Messi for 2021 Ballon d'Or

Dani Alves believes that Christian Eriksen should have won the Ballon d’Or instead of Lionel Messi.
Dani Alves believes that Christian Eriksen should have won the Ballon d’Or instead of Lionel Messi.
Rishabh Bhatnagar

Barcelona’s Dani Alves has said that Denmark’s Christian Eriksen deserves to win the Ballon d’Or award ahead of six-time winner Lionel Messi.

Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s opening group game against Finland at Euro 2020. As he was about to receive a throw-in, Eriksen collapsed on the pitch. He had to be stretchered off after cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation was performed.

Eriksen subsequently underwent a successful surgery after which he was discharged. However, it seems as if his playing career is over, as he has reportedly been advised by doctors to never participate in professional football again.

Dani Alves on why it's impossible for Neymar & Mbappe to win the Ballon d'Or at PSG

Considering everything the Danish international has gone through, Alves believes Eriksen should be given the Ballon d’Or 2021 award. He said in this regard:

"Messi is the best player in the world, he has been for almost 20 years. But if you ask me, Christian Eriksen deserves to win the Ballon d'or; it would have been great for everyone if he won. After everything he has been through the past year, it had been a strong message to send on. I really liked it.

Lionel Messi expected to win seventh Ballon d’Or award despite multiple contenders

As per multiple reports, Lionel Messi has already been informed that he has won the Ballon d’Or 2021 award, his seventh overall. He won the Copa America with Argentina this year, and has scored 41 goals for club and country.

Among Messi's closest contenders is Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, who won the Bundesliga and the DFL Supercup last season. He has scored 62 times for club and country this year. Other major contenders for this year’s Ballon d’Or award are Jorginho, Mohammed Salah and Karim Benzema.

The Ballon d'Or winners without Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Jorginho won the Euros with Italy and the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea. Meanwhile, both Benzema and Salah also enjoyed extraordinary individual seasons, but do not have the trophies to show for their efforts. This will be the first time since 2010 Cristiano Ronaldo is not expected to feature in the top 3 of the Ballon d’Or rankings.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have duopolised the Ballon d’Or award in the last decade. However, in 2018, Croatia’s Luka Modric interrupted that run. The two superstars have shown no signs of slowing down yet despite being on the wrong side of 30.

Next year’s winner might as well have a new winner altogether. That would signal the end of probably the most entertaining individual rivalry in the illustrious history of the game.

Edited by Bhargav

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