Messi Ballon d'Or
There is no more debate. Lionel Messi is the clear-cut favorite for the 2021 Ballon d’Or after winning Copa America and best player. (Photo Credit: Bruna Pardo / Associated Press)

Lionel Messi Is The Clear-Cut Favorite For The 2021 Ballon d’Or

Coming off the heels of his first international trophy with Argentina, Lionel Messi has cemented his place as the clear-cut favorite for the 2021 Ballon d’Or. The Argentine was the Golden Boot winner and Best Player of the Tournament at the 2021 Copa America, carrying his team to the final. Despite his less than stellar performance against Brazil, it was almost poetic that his teammates led him to a trophy after he shouldered his country’s load for more than a decade.

Regardless, his four goals and five assists in the tournament and his 38 goals and 12 assists for Barcelona elevate him to first place among all contenders for football’s ultimate individual award. Put simply, Messi should win his seventh Ballon d’Or.

Messi quieted the mob with his performance at the tournament. He was directly involved in 75% of Argentina’s goals and convincingly hurdled the final “well, but…” of his illustrious career.

There are other players who have a case for the award, namely Robert Lewandowski, N’Golo Kante, and Kylian Mbappe, but none have a better one than La Abiceleste’s talisman. The left-footed wonder from Rosario should win the golden ball. He had 59 direct goal contributions in 54 games. Those are absolutely ridiculous numbers, and he is no longer even in his prime. I am kicking myself for having him at No. 3 on my Ballon d’Or favorites list.

That being said, Messi is not the only person with a case to win the award. Lewandowski scored 46 goals with Bayern Munich, but an early exit with Poland make his victory more difficult. Kante won the Champions League with Chelsea and had multiple man-of-the-match performances for the Blues throughout their UCL run, but he and France were eliminated in the Round of 16 in the Euros. Mbappe likely will not win because of his goalless campaign with France. And even Jorginho, who may now be in contention because of winning the UCL with Chelsea and the Euros with Italy, should not win the award.

Messi is the player most deserving of the 2021 Ballon d’Or and any other player winning the award this year would be absolute blasphemy.

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