Kylian Mbappe finished ninth in the Ballon d’Or rankings on Monday and was less than impressed with voters, as fellow Paris Saint-Germain star claimed his seventh award
The French sensation earned just 58 votes, with the ceremony taking place in his home city of Paris at the Theatre du Chatele.
When television cameras flashed onto Mbappe for a reaction, the 22-year-old applauded with his hands – but his face told a different story.
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He was announced alongside 10th-place Gianluigi Donnarumma, who picked up the award for best goalkeeper, named after legendary Soviet stopper Lev Yashin.
Mbappe watched on as Messi was controversially crowned the best player of the year, with Robert Lewandowski many’s favourite to collect the golden ball.
Upon presenting Putellas with her accolade, the France international was reminded that he is the first man not named Messi or Ronaldo to finish inside the top 10 in each of the last four votes – not that he wanted to compare himself to the greats.
“It’s a pleasure but I’m not like Messi and Ronaldo,” Mbappe humbly admitted. “They’ve won a lot of times, they’re legends.
“I’m lucky to play with Leo and learn from him on a daily basis. Just having my name next to theirs is a pride.”
His highest Ballon d’Or finish came in 2018, ranking fourth after playing an integral role in his nation’s World Cup win.
That followed his debut in seventh a year prior, before finishing sixth in 2019.
Last year’s award was scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In similarly humble fashion, Messi noted Lewandowski’s unrewarded efforts – barring an awkward brand new award for ‘Best Striker’ for 64 goals this calendar year – in his acceptance speech.
“I want to tell Robert that it is an honor for me to be up against him,” Messi said on stage.
“You deserve your Ballon d’Or. Last year everyone agreed that you were the winner.
“I think France Football should give you your Ballon d’Or so you can have it like you deserve.
“Hopefully France Football can give it to you to have in your home, because you were the true winner if it weren’t for the pandemic.
“You should have one in your house too.”