Messi in 'top position' for 2023 Ballon d'Or after World Cup success with Argentina, admits Lewandowski

20221221 Lionel Messi
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Robert Lewandowski feels that Lionel Messi is in pole position to win the 2023 Ballon d'Or after guiding Argentina to their third World Cup title.
  • Messi won the 2022 World Cup
  • Lewandowski backs Messi to get 8th Ballon d'Or
  • Would love to play alongside Messi

WHAT HAPPENED? The Argentine skipper won five man-of-the-match awards in seven appearances and finished the Qatar tournament with seven goals and three assists, including a brace in the final on the way to a penalty shootout victory over France. Messi wasn't nominated for the 2022 Ballon d'Or, but after lifting the World Cup for the first time, Lewandowski is confident that the Paris Saint-Germain superstar will claim a record-extending eighth award.

WHAT THEY SAID: "There is maybe one more player who plays for the same club [Kylian Mbappe] but there is only one World Cup that decides who is going to win it this season and Leo is now in the top position for sure because of what he has achieved which means everything to him. He now can enjoy it," The Barcelona frontman said to Mundo Deportivo.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi has often been linked with a return to Barcelona over the past few months and Lewandowski has not hidden his excitement at the prospect of playing alongside the World Cup winner. He added: "It's not up to me. Of course, we see that now he plays more like a 'playmaker', perhaps he scores fewer goals and gives more passes to his teammates although he continues to score them. But compared to other times, he is now the footballer that any striker would dream of playing alongside him."

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messi1 20221225 Robert Lewandowski Lionel Messi

WHAT NEXT FOR LEWANDOWSKI & MESSI? The Barcelona forward will get back to action on December 31 against Espanyol, while Messi is not expected to feature for PSG again until a Ligue 1 clash with Lens on January 2 as he is yet to resume training after Argentina's World Cup triumph.