‘‘He will be crowned’’: Former Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo Nazario claims Lionel Messi deserves to win this year

Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo Nazario has claimed that Lionel Messi deserves to win the Ballon d’Or this year for his performances that lead to Argentina winning the 2022 World Cup.

The Ballon d’Or is now awarded based on the season performance, instead of the previous yearly performance. 

The current season runs from August 1, 2022, through July 31, 2023. The event will be held on October 30 in Paris’s Theatre du Chatelet, and the candidates will be revealed on September 6.

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Ahead of the Ballon d’Or nominations in September, the hot topic of who will be this year’s winner of the prestigious award is raging strong. Lionel Messi is again in the running for another Ballon d’Or. His only competition is Manchester City’s Erling Haaland who comes off a brilliant goalscoring season that saw City win the treble.

Does Messi deserve to win the Ballon d’Or?

Lionel Messi had a great year, though by his standards a bit normal. He was in superb form as he led Argentina to the 2022 World Cup triumph. Along with his leadership on the pitch, he scored 7 times and 3 assists, including two goals in the final against France. This earned him a Golden Ball for being the best player in the tournament.

There is no doubt that the World Cup will be a big factor, considering how big of an achievement it is to win it and even bigger to be the best player in that competition.

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Not just for Argentina, Messi was also great for Paris Saint Germain. He had 16 goals and 16 assists in this season’s Ligue 1 triumph. He was part of the Ligue 1 Team of the Year.

But the UCL failure with Paris led to him being booed by fans. Eventually, Messi left the club on a free transfer and will join MLS side Inter Miami.

In total, Messi had 38 goals and 25 assists putting him among the top 2 players with the most goal contributions this season. The first is Kylian Mbappe with 63. Haaland is third with 63 goal contributions.

The only competition to Messi is Erling Haaland. He is the player with the most goals, with 52 goals scored. He has also won the treble with Manchester City, the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the UCL. 

But Brazilian legendary forward Ronaldo Nazario still backs Lionel Messi to win the award.

According to a tweet from Albiceleste Talk, the former Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo Nazario backed Messi for the award. He said Messi’s performances in the World Cup, which is the biggest competition in football, will decide the winner.

“Messi deserves to win the Ballon d’Or. I think he will be crowned. He won the World Cup, which is a very big tournament.”

How many Ballon d’Or awards does Lionel Messi have?

Even if Lionel Messi doesn’t win this year, he still boasts 7 Ballon d’Or awards: the most in history. Cristiano Ronaldo is the nearest with 5 Ballon d’Ors won during the last decade.

Lionel Messi first won the award in 2009, after winning the sextuple with Barcelona. He was only 22 at the time. Messi went on to win the award three more times, the longest consecutive Ballon d’Or awards won.

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In 2015, he won his fifth award when he won the treble again with Barcelona. After a four year hiatus, he claimed his sixth in 2019, narrowly beating Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk.

In 2021, he won the 7th Ballon d’Or of his career after winning his first international title: the Copa America with Argentina.

And now he has the chance to win his eighth one. But Messi really doesn’t care for another, as said in an interview with Titan Sports.

“Does Ballon d’Or matter to me? No, at this stage in my life, it is no longer important to me. I’ve always said, the individual prizes are not what matters to me, but the collective ones are the most important to me. The most important prize at the moment is the World Cup. This is the greatest prize for me.”

The Ballon d’Or winner will be announced in an elaborate ceremony in Paris on October 30. It is then we will know whether Lionel Messi further cements his status as a great with another Ballon d’Or.

Fazal Al Bashar

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Fazal is a passionate soccer aficionado, who when not discovering the latest soccer stories and rumors, indulges in playing FIFA all night. While he sucks at the sport, he knows the who and what in all things soccer-related.


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