Despite winning the award in his new hometown of Paris, Lionel Messi will reportedly snub Paris Saint Germain and display his seventh Ballon d’Or at Barcelona instead
Lionel Messi claimed his seventh Ballon d’Or crown on Monday as he was again presented with the ultimate individual accolade in football, in his new hometown of Paris.
Messi’s incredible season at Barcelona helped him win the award, not to mention his run in the Copa America that finally saw him achieve international success with Argentina over the summer.
Things are now going well for the 34-year-old at Paris Saint Germain too, as after a slow start Messi finally has his first Ligue 1 goal, and he claimed a hat-trick of assists against St Ettiene the day before winning the Ballon d’Or.
However, Messi’s heart is still very much in Barcelona, as the Argentinian has opted to display his award back in Catalonia.
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Spanish radio station SER has claimed, via The Daily Mail, that Messi is going to have his latest Ballon d’Or on show in the Barcelona museum, as opposed to in the French capital where he now plays.
However, it is in Barcelona where his other six, yes six, are kept, meaning that all of the awards will be together in one historic collection.
Although a slight snub from a PSG perspective, the award was won from his season at Barcelona, and not for the stop-start one that Messi has endured in France so far.
If Messi was to earn another crown while at PSG then the situation may be received slightly differently, seeing as the club have never housed a winner of the award from a direct season in France, and Jean-Pierre Papin was the last winner from the French League back in 1991.
Although there was extreme delight on Messi’s behalf, there was some angst surrounding the award due to Robert Lewandowski missing out despite a record-breaking season in Germany.
Lewandowski was nailed on to win the award last year but the ceremony was scrapped due to COVID, and the Polish international was also amongst the favourites this year, but narrowly missed out to Messi.
However, Messi took the time to commend Lewandowski during his acceptance speech in what was a classy gesture, and said: “Robert, you deserve your Ballon d’Or. ‘Last year, everyone was in agreement to say that you were the big winner of this award.
“Hopefully France Football will give you the 2020 Ballon d’Or. We all believe you deserved it and I hope you can have it at home.”
Lewandowski also spoke out following Messi’s victory and congratulated the Argentinian, before adding: “Congratulations also to all nominated players! I won Striker of the Year Award and no Player can win an individual award without strongest team and loyal fans behind him. Thank you for your support.”
With 2022 nearly upon us, it’s time to look forward and see who the next winner may be, and with Messi and Ronaldo ageing it could be time for a new winner, and the competition is expected to be higher than ever.