Lionel Messi is gearing up to potentially receive the 7th Ballon d’Or of his career. Ahead of this though, his confession of being hurt after Cristiano Ronaldo tied his tally of five in 2017 has resurfaced.
During his time with FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi became the first player to win four straight Ballon d'Or awards after being voted the winner from 2009-2012. He followed it up by winning his 5th Ballon d’Or in 2015, which was at the time a world record.
However, Cristiano Ronaldo’s trophy-laden time with Real Madrid allowed the Portuguese to win the award between 2013-2014 and 2016-2017. He had won his first Ballon d’Or at the age of 23 for Manchester United in 2008. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were tied at five Ballon d’Ors until Messi won the award again in 2019.
Lionel Messi has reportedly been told that a record 7th Ballon d’Or is his. Amongst the anticipation of the 2021 Ballon d'Or, Messi's confession back in 2017 has resurfaced. He then said:
"On the one hand, I appreciated having five and being the only one to do so. When Cristiano levelled me, I have to admit that it hurt me a bit. I was no longer alone at the summit. But it was logical, even if it is nice when you are alone on five.”
Lionel Messi’s 7th Ballon d’Or inadvertently means that he has edged past Cristiano Ronaldo for good in historic race
Lionel Messi’s potential 7th Ballon d’Or win extends his record of winning the most in the history of club football. He started off with a headstart but Ronaldo managed to tie him at five in 2017. Messi was hurt, but has since managed to edge past Cristiano Ronaldo again.
With his 7th Ballon d’Or, it seems extremely likely that Ronaldo will not be able to reach Messi’s tally for good. With age catching up to both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the two are not the same players that they were just a few years ago. However, Lionel Messi will be optimistic about his chances of landing an 8th. That is if he is able to lead PSG to a Champions League triumph this year.
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo is plying his trade for a struggling Manchester United side and he is now 36 years old. His playing style is arguably more dependant upon hard work and physical fitness than Lionel Messi. Plus, Manchester United do not look likely to win multiple trophies this season.
Additionally, Lionel Messi will become the second-oldest player to win the Ballon d’Or at the age of 34, if he wins. He will be second to Stanley Mathews’ record of winning it as a 41-year old in 1956. In such a scenario, Cristiano Ronaldo will have to win his 6th Ballon d’Or as a 37-year old. He will have to then follow it up with another unlikely triumph to equal Messi’s record.
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At the same time, he will have to hope that Lionel Messi does not win another Ballon d’Or till the end of his career. Considering PSG’s Champions League ambitions and overall squad, both those scenarios might come true.