Lionel Messi was not even in the 30-man shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or award, won by Real Madrid star Karim Benzema. However, the Argentine may have avoided a curse by not winning the prize.
Lionel Messi’s first season at Paris Saint-Germain did not go to plan, with the Argentine superstar struggling to establish himself in Ligue 1 during the 2021-22 campaign. As a result, he was not even considered for the 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony.
The prestigious award given by France Football has changed its criteria for this year, taking into account the club’s season rather than the calendar year. As a result, Messi was not even part of the shortlist of 30 players.
Of course, such a decision caused controversy because we are talking about one of the best and also Ballon d’Or winning players in the world. The news may not have sat well with Messi at first, but not winning this year could be better for him and Argentina.
Lionel Messi avoids Ballon d’Or ‘curse’ ahead of Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup
Unsurprisingly, Karim Benzema emerged victorious in the 2022 Ballon d’Or gala following a fantastic season in which he helped Real Madrid win the LaLiga and UEFA Champions League titles. But there’s a fact that could worry the French community.
As stats expert MisterChip noted on Twitter, the reigning Ballon d’Or winner has never won the FIFA World Cup. Benzema heads into Qatar 2022 aiming to help France secure consecutive titles, but he would need to break the ‘curse’ to make it happen.
On the other hand, this only fuels Argentina’s World Cup aspirations. La Albiceleste arrive at the competition in high spirits, having won the Copa America last year and punching a ticket to Qatar without losing a single game.
Messi has recently revealed this will surely be the last World Cup in his career. It won’t be easy, but the expectations around Argentina are through the roof. Will he finally win the elusive title in Qatar?