Lionel Messi fans rejoice: Fresh update reveals Ballon d’Or podium places
Word stemming from the European media on Friday spells altogether positive news for those hopeful of Lionel Messi lifting the next Ballon d’Or.
Messi joined by Pedri & more
The latest round of nominees for the Ballon d’Or were of course announced early last month.
After the awarding of the prize – widely regarded as the most prestigious individual accolade in world football – was cancelled last time out due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the first ‘Golden Ball’ for almost two years will be served up in just three days’ time.
The usual big-hitters were all present on France Football’s shortlist, including the two most successful players in the accolade’s history – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – along with Robert Lewandowski, Neymar, Erling Haaland, and another previous winner – Luka Modric.
Also honoured with inclusions were Barcelona sensation Pedri, Italian Euro 2020 winners Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, and even Simon Kjaer, owing to his heroic response to Christian Eriksen’s frightening cardiac arrest during the summer.
The full list looks as follows:
Lewandowski, Salah, Jorginho, Azpilicueta, Lukaku, Ronaldo, Foden, Gerard Moreno, Mbappe, Suarez, De Bruyne, Dias, Kjaer, Neymar, Lautaro Martinez, Messi, Pedri, Chiellini, Bruno Fernandes, Modric, Mahrez, Haaland, Kante, Mount, Bonucci, Donnarumma, Kane, Benzema, Barella, Sterling
Here are the other 10 nominees for the Men’s #ballondor pic.twitter.com/auEMazmpEy
— France Football #BallondOr (@francefootball) October 8, 2021
Leo trumps Benz
As things stand, it is Messi who is viewed as the bookmakers‘ favourite to bag a historic 7th Ballon d’Or crown, on the back of a long overdue Copa America triumph with Argentina.
Recent word spreading across social media, however, had pointed towards an altogether different winner.
The player in question? Robert Lewandowski.
A ‘leaked’ image of the apparent final standings to have made its way online late in October named Bayern Munich’s main man as firmly on course to bag a first-ever ‘Golden Ball’, with Messi close behind in 2nd.
Secondo Marca questa è la classifica del #PallonedOro 2021:
— Fabrizio Biasin (@FBiasin) October 28, 2021
But, as outlined above, on Friday, yet another twist in what is fast becoming a Ballon d’Or saga has been confirmed.
As per a mounting number of sources, citing inside information, Messi, as initially predicted, will ultimately go on to reign victorious at next Monday’s ceremony.
Matteo Moretto of Sky Sports has today assured that the Argentine has already been informed that he was ‘won’ the prize, with those closest to him fully aware of the situation, too.
Lionel Messi has won the Ballon D’Or, according to @MatteMoretto. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/Rr7fxZiby2
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) November 26, 2021
Elsewhere, an insight into the final podium standings has also been provided, with Karim Benzema expected to beat the aforementioned Lewandowski to the honour of runner-up:
Le classement du Ballon d’Or selon @jpedrerol :
1️⃣ Messi 🇦🇷
2️⃣ Benzema 🇫🇷
3️⃣ Lewandowski 🇵🇱 pic.twitter.com/xeuts18mfn
— Actu Foot (@ActuFoot_) November 26, 2021
Mohamed Bouhafsi [@mohamedbouhafsi]: “The winner of the Ballon d’Or will be among Messi ,Benzema and Lewandowski. Messi is the closest one to win it.” pic.twitter.com/5CPyMxo3Ew
— R (@Lionel30i) November 25, 2021
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