The student news of St. Paul Academy and Summit School

[2 SIDES, 1 ISSUE] Ballon d’Or trophy sparks controversy

December 10, 2021

The Ballon d’Or is the most prestigious individual award a male soccer player can receive. The gold trophy shaped like a soccer ball is given once a year dating all the way back to 1956, with the exception of last year due to the COVID pandemic. Lionel Messi has won the most Ballon d’Ors, 2 more than his rival for the past 15 years, Christiano Ronaldo.
Last year, Robert Lewandowski, a striker for Bayern Munich FC, was the clear-cut winner, but the award ceremony was canceled and no one received the prestigious trophy. This year, the debate of who would take home this trophy was between Messi and Lewandowski, and there was much speculation about who would take home the award.
According to the Bundesliga website, in terms of stats, Lewandowski led in goals per game across all competitions with 61 goals in 51 games, compared to Messi’s 41 goals in 56 games. However, in these games, Messi had 17 assists compared to Lewandowski’s 10. Messi also led in almost every other stat. He had more accurate passes, successful dribbles, chances created, man of the matches, and more goal involvements.
Senior Mac Brown and Leonard Larson have a podcast called Class on Grass, and upload almost every week on their socials. They recently argued about who deserved the trophy this past week.

Lionel Messi deserved the trophy

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Fair Use Image: @leomessi on Instagram

Messi, widely considered the greatest of all time, holding his 7th Ballon d’Or, the most of any player in history.

Lewandowski is one of the most gifted scorers in the history of the game, just let his 5 goals in 9 minutes against Wolfsburg in 2015 speak for itself. However, the Ballon d’Or is awarded to the best player, not just the top scorer.
According to senior Mac Brown, “Obviously, in terms of goals alone, Lewandowski scored more goals, but Lewandowski is also a striker. Messi did not drop form with a struggling and underperforming Barcelona side.”
Up until recently, Messi had not won a single international trophy with his team, Argentina, however, Messi had an outstanding performance this year in the Copa America. He won player of the tournament and led his side to the trophy after losing 2 consecutive finals in 2015 and 2016 in penalty shoot-outs.
“The storyline of winning his first international trophy and beating Brazil in the final and being resilient throughout the year is too hard to ignore,” Brown said.

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Robert Lewandowski deserved the trophy

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Fair Use Image: _rl9 on Instagram

Lewandowski won the striker of the year award this year. “I would like to congratulate Messi on the Ballon d’Or,” he said

Larson thinks that Lewandowski deserved the award simply because of his incredible goal-scoring stats. In soccer, scoring 1 goal again is almost unheard of, and Lewandowski had 61 goals in only 51 games.
“I personally think that this is daylight robbery,” Larson said after learning that Messi was awarded the trophy. “Messi is obviously the GOAT (greatest of all time), but we’re talking about this season, since the start of 2021. Lewandowski scored so many goals and those numbers are only put up by the best players. On top of his individual achievements, Bayern won 4 trophies.”
According to Larson, Lewandowski has simply scored too many goals to not be awarded the trophy.
In conclusion, Lewandowski deserved the award simply because of the goal-scoring numbers he put up. Although Messi’s achievements this year were undoubtedly impressive, Lewandowksi was simply the better player.
In conclusion, Lewandowski deserved the award simply because of the goal-scoring numbers he put up. Although Messi’s achievements this year were undoubtedly impressive, Lewandowksi was simply the better player.

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