On November 29 the Ballon d'Or gala will be held and there is a clear favourite to win: Leo Messi. The Argentine is in pole position to be named the best footballer in the world in 2021. If so, Messi would further enlarge his legend by winning his seventh award: more than any other player in history.
Again, and how could it be otherwise? Messi has been nominated among the 30 finalists for the highest individual award that can be awarded to a footballer. Except for in 2018, the Argentine has always been among the three most voted players since 2007. This year will be no exception.
Next, we review the reasons why Messi deserves to win his seventh Ballon d'Or.
COPA DEL REY
It was the only title he won last season dressed in Blaugrana, the 35th of his career with Barça. Messi inspired the win against Athletic Club (0-4), scoring a double and winning the man of the match awards. This double also allowed him to become the top scorer in copa finals with nine goals, one more than the historic forward Telmo Zarra.
Without a doubt, the title most celebrated by Leo Messi in recent years. Reaching the final of the Copa America on four occasions and the World Cup on one, the Argentine was finally able to conquer a great title with the Argentine team. The 2021 Copa América will be remembered by all Argentines as a milestone in the history of their football.
Messi led the 'albiceleste' throughout the tournament, participating in nine goals with his selection: four goals and five assists. In fact, the No 10 was the top scorer in the tournament (tied with the Colombian Luis Fernando Díaz) and was also chosen as the best player in the Copa América, receiving the Golden Ball.
So far in 2021, Leo Messi has scored 40 goals: 28 with Barça, nine with the Argentine team and three with Paris Saint Germain. A tally that will still be able to grow until the end of the year, although the award will be given at the end of November.
The Argentine will certainly surpass the 40-goal barrier, a milestone he has achieved every year since 2009, with the exception of last year, when he scored a total of 27 goals. It is precisely that consistency in front of goal that makes the Argentine, for many, the best footballer of all time. The difficult thing is not to arrive, it is to stay. And he has succeeded.
That is the differential merit of the Argentine over the last few years. He continues to be the best of all time and he shows it individually and as part of a team. Messi makes his teams better and makes them shine and lift titles at the end of the season. He has done it with Barça and this year he has done it with the Argentine team.
For continuing to win important titles at 34, for continuing to score decisive goals, for continuing to give unlikely assists to his teammates and for continuing to remain in the Olympus of world football, Leo Messi deserves to win the Ballon d'Or 2021.