Lionel Messi insists there are ‘no doubts’ over who deserves to win 2022 Ballon d’Or

·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Lionel Messi believes Karim Benzema will deservedly win the Ballon d’Or this year after the Real Madrid striker helped his side to another Champions League title.

The Frenchman scored 15 goals in Europe this season, a tally that only Cristiano Ronaldo has bettered in the competition’s history, as well as 27 in La Liga as Real did the double under Carlo Ancelotti.

Messi won the award in 2021 for a seventh time, though it was a slighty controversial decision as many believed Robert Lewandowski deserved it. The Bayern Munich striker had to settle for second.

However, Messi believes there will be no such debate this time when the award is presented in October, insisting Benzema has done enough to win the award for the first time.

“I think there are no doubts Benzema should win Ballon d’Or,” Messi told TyC Sports.

“It is very clear that Benzema had a spectacular year and ended up elevating himself with the Champions League, being essential from the last 16 onwards in all the games. I think there are no doubts this year.”

It was a frustrating first season at PSG for Messi, who managed just six Ligue 1 goals and failed to help the star-studded side win a first Champions League.

The French side were 2-0 up on aggregate against Real with less than 30 minutes to go in the second-leg, but Benzema scored a 17-minute hat-trick to send PSG crashing out in dramatic fashion.

In response many of the club’s supporters booed the players in the matches that followed and Messi admitted that was something he was not expecting.

“It was new for me, it’s a different situation,” Messi said. “It had never happened to me in Barcelona, quite the opposite.

“The situation of the people and the anger for the players we had, for the team we were and because another year [went without a Champions League title], the anger is understandable.

“The Real Madrid thing killed us. To me, to the entire dressing room in general, to all of Paris.

He added: “Real Madrid, without taking away their merit, much less because they are the champion of the Champions League and are always there, were not the best team in this Champions League and yet they beat them all.”

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