Lionel Messi has no doubt about who should win the Ballon d’Or this year.
“Karim Benzema won the UEFA Champions League for Real Madrid, he was decisive from the round of 16 and beyond. He is an amazing player.”
The absence of Lionel Messi from the 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or raised a few eyebrows when L’Equipe published this year’s list. The Argentina captain, a seven-time winner of the trophy, was omitted from the list of contenders for the first time since 2005, having won the award last year.
According to L’Equipe, the award criteria will be clarified through “individual performances” and the “decisive and impressive character of the contenders” will be taken into account, ahead of “the collective aspect and trophies won” and “the player’s class and sense of fair play.”