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Kroos argues that Messi didn’t deserve Ballon d’Or win and Ronaldo was better this year



Lionel Messi’s seventh Ballon d’Or success is “absolutely not deserved” and Cristiano Ronaldo was better over the past year, according to Real Madrid star Toni Kroos.

Messi won the 2021 Golden Ball on Monday night after another stellar year for club and country that saw him score 42 goals while getting his hands on Copa del Rey and Copa America honours.

MORE: Final Ballon d’Or results

However, Kroos does not believe that the Argentina international, who joined Paris Saint-Germain after leaving Barcelona in the summer, should have finished ahead of some of the other names in the final vote.

What has Toni Krossย said about Lionel Messi’s seventh Ballon d’Or win?

The Real Madrid midfielder said on hisย official podcast: “It’s absolutely not deserved.

“There is no doubt that Messi, with Cristiano [Ronaldo], has been the player of the last decade, but this year there should’ve been others ahead of him.”

Pressed on who he felt deserved the accolade this time around, Kroos named his Madrid colleague Karim Benzema before also insisting thatย Ronaldo should have finished ahead of Messiย after the impact he’s had since returning to Manchester United.

MORE: Ronaldo fires back at Ballon d’Or & Messi claim by France Football chief editor

“For me, Karim would have been the number one if you were really looking for the best individual player of the last year, because I can see from close quarters what an outstanding footballer he is,” Kroos added.

“When I see how many decisive goals Cristiano has scored lately – Manchester United are still in the Champions League thanks to him alone – then, in my eyes, Cristiano would have also come before Messi.”

Kroos’ outrage over the decision to give Messi the prize again was shared by his former Madrid teammate Iker Casillas.

“It is increasingly difficult for me to believe in football awards,” the former Spain international goalkeeper wrote on Twitter.

“For me, Messi, he is one of the five best players in all of history but you have to know how to list the most outstanding players in a season. It’s not that hard.”

Who else did Lionel Messi beat to the Ballon d’Or?

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Kylian Mbappe, Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho were also among those that had to be content with a spot behind Messi in the top ten.

Robert Lewandowski’s position as runner-up proved to be the most controversial, though, with many pundits having previously backed him for the prize following another prolific 12 months at Bayern Munich.

MORE: Why Messi’s Ballon d’Or win was snub of Robert Lewandowski

The Polish striker was also the favourite for the 2020 Ballon d’Or before it was cancelled due to coronavirus, andย Messi expressed his frustration for his colleagueย in his latest acceptance speech.

“I wanted to say to Robert that it was an honour to go up against him,” said the former Barcelona captain. “He deserved to win it last year.”



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