Sunday, June 4, 2023

It won’t be Messi’s last Ballon d’ Or: Barcelona president


Barcelona, Jan 12 (IANS) Spanish giants FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said he is sure that his club’s talismanic striker Lionel Messi’s fifth Ballon d’Or trophy would not be his last.

Messi won world football’s governing body FIFA’s player of the year award at a glittering ceremony in Zurich on Monday night edging past the likes of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and his club teammate Neymar.

It was the 28-year-old Argentine’s record stretching fifth FIFA Ballon d’Or award, receiving 41.33 percent of the votes, followed by Ronaldo (27.76 percent) and Neymar (7.86 percent).

“Messi winning the Ballon d’Or is a great triumph for Barcelona, our supporters and mainly, Leo himself. To win his fifth Ballon d’Or means a lot. It means that the world of football recognises that the best player of all time is Leo Messi,� Bartomeu was quoted as saying by on Tuesday.

“And because he is still young, I do believe this will not be his last time here winning the trophy.”

Bartomeu also said Barcelona’s striker Luis Suarez should have been in FIFA’s World XI. Barcelona had four candidates in the dream team including Messi — Neymar, Andres Iniesta and Dani ALves being the others — but Suarez was not one of them.

“I would have chosen all players from Barcelona in the ideal starting XI team of FIFA, but I am not the one who votes,” he said.

“Anyway, I missed Suarez there. I think he along with Neymar and Messi have marked a milestone in football.�

“He should probably be here enjoying the FIFA Ballon d’Or party. He is a player that will keep doing great things with Barcelona,� he added.

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