Lionel Messi lifted his sixth Ballon d’Or on Monday, and Twitter is not convinced how
Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi on Monday became the first footballer to win six Ballon d’Ors. The 32-year-old received the honour ahead of Liverpool’s talisman Virgil van Dijk, who stood second while Cristiano Ronaldo rounded off the podium.
There were arguments ahead of the event regarding who amongst Messi and van Dijk, who won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, is more worthy but having scored 51 goals in 50 appearances for Barcelona last season, Messi edged ahead.
"I hope to continue for a long time," Messi said in Paris.
"I realize that I am very lucky, even if, one day, retirement will come. It will be difficult. But I still have a lot of good years ahead of me. Time goes by very quickly, so I want to enjoy football and my family.
— 🆎 (@Messician_17) December 2, 2019
"A few years ago, I received my first Ballon d'Or here in Paris," Messi said. "I was 22 years old. It was something unthinkable at the time. Today is my sixth Ballon d'Or. As my wife used to say, you should never stop dreaming but always work to improve and continue to enjoy yourself."
Those on Twitter, meanwhile, still haven’t processed as to how Messi deserved the award ahead of van Dijk, who was instrumental in Liverpool’s Champions League triumph last season. The Netherlands international led his team from the front and while the likes of Mohamed Salah, Mane and Roberto Firmino grabbed most of the headlines, he did his job to mere perfection.
For the player himself though, he expressed nothing respect for his rivals.
"It was an amazing year, but there's a couple of players like that who are a bit unnatural," said Van Dijk of Messi and Ronaldo. "So you need to respect greatness as well. I was close, but there was just someone a little bit better."
The reaction on the internet, however, doesn’t seem to have settled the debate and this is how they are reacting to it:
#BallonDor arguments are one of the most hypocritical arguments in football. Same person that swears it’s all about individual performance and nothing more would come back next year and laud how winning the big trophies is the most important criteria.
— Mustapha (M) Ja'afar (@Double_M_J) December 3, 2019
I'm waiting for Ronaldo to tell messi not to just win the awards but to win in life😜#BallonDor
— yakzking (@Yakzking) December 3, 2019
Football isn’t about goals alone... Year Cannavaro won it, loads of players scored more goals or assisted more but man was immensely outstanding and helped his team to the WC... VVD deserves it #BallonDor2019#BallonDor
— Anfield Bloodline (@Adessy09) December 2, 2019
The player who bottled a 3-0 UCL lead, flop of COPA America 2019, who lost the COPA Del Rey final has just won the Ballon D’or ahead of a player who won the UCL, won the UEFA SuperCup, won the POTY, was UEFA best player and played UNL final.
Says it all.
— Jack Robinson (@FeralJack_) December 2, 2019
Virgil van Dijk set the standard for defense in world football.
The entirety of Europe was desperately tracking to see if a player could just get past him. Monumental player with unparalleled abilities who won the biggest prize in Europe.
For him not to win is an absolute joke.
— Rex (@ThatRexGuy) December 2, 2019
I applaud Van Dijk for his greatness last season, but guy, Messi played football last season abeg, make we no lie.
Although valverde ruin all his work but still, he deserve the award.
— Nurse Alabi (@AlabiBusayo6) December 3, 2019
Looks like Messi has won the Ballon d'Or which is a shame in way. Don't think too many can argue Van Dijk didn't deserve to win it. One of the most iconic year for a CB in some time
— Dinesh Kumar (@DHardayal) December 2, 2019
Why is there so many Liverpool fans crying about messi winning Ballon Dor? If Salah or Mane banged about 50 goals and 20 assists in a year they’d be fuming if one of those didn’t get it 😂 not his fault he’s the best by a mile year in year out #Messi#BallonDor2019
— Gregg Hodson (@hod2010) December 3, 2019
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Franck Fife