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Messi? Lewandowski? Ronaldo? - African fans debate Ballon d’Or

12:13 AM IST 30/11/21
Mohamed Salah Messi Ronaldo GFX
As the Ballon d'Or gets underway, African football fans have their say on who should win the award

Messi? Lewandowski? Ronaldo? - African fans debate Ballon d’Or

The Ballon d’Or is just hours away and African football fans are passionately debating who they think should be crowned the best male footballer of 2021.

It’s that time of the year once again and there will be debates, controversies and opinions as the return of France Football's prestigious prize will come as the centre of the discussion.

Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho, Cristiano Ronaldo and N'Golo Kante are among the leading candidates to win, with the Paris Saint-Germain star appearing to be on course for a record seventh crown.

Fans have made claims for all of the aforementioned names, with fierce opinions on why one favourite should win over the other.

Ahead of the final announcement at a gala at Chatelet Theatre in Paris, on Monday, we take a look at what African fans are saying ahead of the award.

Who should win the Ballon d'Or?

There have been shouts for Bayern Munich star Lewandowski to win the award and certainly he appears a hot candidate.

Asides scoring 41 goals from only 29 Bundesliga games last season, the Poland forward picked up the European Golden Shoe and has made an electrifying start to the current campaign, with 25 total goals already.

Having missed out on last year’s edition due to a cancellation, some fans are still backing the 33-year-old to win the award this time around. However, not everyone seems to agree.

@Joshua_Ubeku posted: ‘The World Cup Golden Ball gave [Luka] Modric the edge to win the 2018 Ballon d’Or according to France Football. Why should the standards be lowered for Lewandowski?  Ronaldo scored a lot of goals in 2018, right? Messi outscored everyone in 2016, right? Why the pity campaign for Lewandowski?’

Elsewhere, some fans can see Lionel Messi winning the award once again.

@Seyi_moneygram said: ‘Me knowing Messi will win his 7th Ballon d’or today and also Big Wiz giving us another premium performance tonight too #BallonDor #WizKidO3’

One Chelsea fan can see Jorginho getting a podium finish, as his prediction indicates.

@Pulisicate posted: “Ballon D'Or #Ballon d'Or Winner: Messi. Runner up: Lewandowski. Third: Jorginho. That's my prediction.”

Of course, Ballon d’Or proceedings are never complete without Ronaldo, but what do fans think about his chances?

@marcel_rex posted: I hereby announce that Ronaldo and I won't be attending the Ballon d'Or gala tonight.

@EdmundOris said: “The football world got tired of seeing Messi win the Ballon d’Or and tried to push for Jorginho, Ronaldo (short lived) and Lewandowski. The 3 of them went on to NOT qualify for the World Cup.  See y’all in the playoffs where we shall award the Playoffs d’Or for the winner.”

What about the African who has equally caught the eye? Salah might not be one of the favourites to win but some feel he is at least deserving of a podium finish.

@samuelLFC posted: ‘Top 3 or top 5 ballon D’Or finish for Salah would be perfect, especially [as] he wasn’t predicted in the top 10 start of this season.’
A bit ambitious but one fan doesn’t see why the ‘Egyptian King’ shouldn’t win the award.

@Opresii said: ‘If Mo Salah doesn’t win the Ballon D’Or I’m not accepting it, and the organizers will hear from me’

Lionel Messi enjoyed a spectacular year and remains the favourite to win but write off Lewandowski at your own peril, with the Bayern Munich star also taking records by storm in a goal-laden calendar period.

by Kolade Daniel