Gone are the days when football awards were exciting, competitive and fascinating. Things have changed, and football has become more of commerce, ensuring the highest bidder gets it. Perhaps it is untrue and merely a conspiracy theory, but it is tough to shake off the feeling that football has become WWE – a scripted – performance to generate funds and raise the adrenaline of the unsuspecting fans.
Football awards have enjoyed more than their fair share of controversies. The fans still revel in it, as it supplies them fodder for bragging rights, but the awards have lost the purists due to its long line of controversial decisions. For this category of people, it is nothing but a popularity poll.
The 2023 Ballon d’Or will have even fewer intrigues, but the rest of the season could supply reasons why the result would be a shocker. Robert Lewandowski does not expect surprises. He believes Lionel Messi will win the 2023 Ballon d’Or.
Lewandowski hands Messi the Ballon d’Or
The usual drama that goes with the charade called the Ballon d’Or would be less dramatic next year as Lewandowski believes there is already a clear winner. On the back of his performance at the World Cup in Qatar, Lewandowski believes Lionel Messi will win the award for the eighth time.
The ceremony is due for October next year, and despite being a long way off, Lewandowski thinks the award would go to the Paris Saint-Germain star. Lionel Messi has started the season well with PSG and was part of the Argentina World Cup-winning team in Qatar.
Messi was not nominated in October after a disastrous first season with PSG. It was the first time he did not make the shortlist since 2005. It seems he is already adapting to life at the Par des Princes as things have started falling into place for him.
The Argentine superstar is perhaps the most marketable and sellable footballer in the world today.
World Cup victory enough to decide best in the world
Robert Lewandowski has spoken in support of Lionel Messi winning the Ballon d’Or.
In a chat with Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo about who should win the individual award, Lewandowski threw his weight behind Messi.
He said perhaps Messi has only one competitor but winning the World Cup separates the pair and is enough to decide the winner.
Lewandowski praised Kylian Mbappe, who won the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot, but believes Messi is ahead of him in the race for the award. He also hopes to play with the Argentine superstar at Barcelona, but the recent renewal at PSG puts paid to that dream. The Polish striker continued that playing with Messi is not up to him.
In 2021, the organizers of the award scrapped it when Lewandowski was by far the best player on the planet. They cited Covid-19 as the reason. A virtual award ceremony was feasible, and the no-show added fodder to the claims of a rigged award with a predetermined destination.