In a wasteful attempt to give excitement to the gala, «France Football», publication in charge of granting the Golden Ball with the vote of 182 correspondents, again resorted to a kind of countdown listing throughout the day the names of the 30 finalists depending on the position they occupied. The Van de Beek, Marquinhos, Joao Félix, Benzema, Wijnaldum, Lloris, Ter Stegen, Griezmann, Agüero, De Ligt, De Jong, Hazard and company were falling until they reached the top 10, territory for the privileged. It was simply necessary to order them and strike out candidates to see who accompanied Lionel Messi on the podium, predicting his triumph for weeks without any objection.
Mainly because it continues to make a difference and because it has remained alone at that table, more now that Cristiano Ronaldo does not fight as before and that the successors have been, for the moment, halfway. Messi, who precisely unpacks with the Portuguese and is already alone at the top with six awards, sends football on the planet at 32, reinvented for the cause with a style where intelligence prevails more than the explosiveness of when it was something else young.
That is, above all, the greatest of its virtues, as Messi has been adapting to the needs of the script, often inconsequential until he solves a duel alone. He spent Sunday, without going any further, in the Wanda Metropolitano, ignited the Argentine with a flash in the 86th minute that made Atlético de Madrid and his people bitter. It was a great race, a wall with Luis Suarez and the usual goal, that of every afternoon, sometimes incomprehensible that the defenses do not find the method or the remedy to avoid what comes next, which is the celebration of the «10» after That auction with thread so subtle and deadly. Messi will repeat it until he retires, he is faster than anyone.
The fact is that Messi received from Luka Modric (the Croatian was not among the finalists) the award that recognizes his 2019, a good course without being considered the best. He had won before in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 and since 2007 he was always on the podium except for the exception of last year, where he finished fifth. Messi did not start as a favorite a few months ago after the click of Barcelona in the European Cup, presumably the Champions League a competition to take into account when awarding individual awards, but his latest performances have placed him ahead of Van Dijk , Mané or Salah, stars of that Liverpool champion. The Dutch central finished second and Cristiano Ronaldo settled for bronze.
Messi's numbers in 2019 are inimitable, and that they are not the best of his career. With the goal he scored on Sunday at Atlético, 45 are already in 53 games, in which he has also given 17 assists. There are those who consider, there are opinions for everything, that their season does not deserve the distinction because they only managed the League with Barcelona, already mentioned the sound European slap (lost in the semifinals against Liverpool after winning 3-0 in the first leg) and also painful defeat in the final of the Copa del Rey against Valencia.
In addition, in the Copa América he did not break the badge with Argentina (he did only a bit) and the albiceleste could only finish third, another sad epilogue defending his country. Of course, in the League was the top producer with 36 goals in 34 afternoons and in the Champions League he accumulated 12 goals.
There is currently no opponent who questions Messi his superiority. Cristiano Ronaldo went to Italy to stretch his legend and things in Juventus have gone halfway. In the first months he felt happy because, he said, he played with his new teammates as a family, but his importance has gone down. He can never be denied his competitive spirit, a unique predator, but the 21 goals in Serie A (in 31 matches) are far from his figures when he played at Real Madrid. Of course, he raised the Scudetto and also led Portugal to the top in the League of Nations.
Messi and Ronaldo have distributed eleven of the last twelve Golden Balls, with Modric being the only one who has dared to alter the established system. There have been proclamations like those of Griezmann, who warmed up and said that he already ate at the same table as that of the two beasts, but the truth is that there is no stable relay beyond sporadic apparitions.
It is the example of Modric, driven by the role of Croatia in the last World Cup and invisible on the list that was published yesterday, or Griezmann's own case, which in 2018 was third and descends to an irrelevant eighteenth position. Of the young, the most promising is, of course, Kylian Mbappé, again in the noble zone (fourth last year, sixth in the present). Seen as seen, if someone can argue with Messi, he is the star of Paris Saint-Germain, who has even eclipsed Neymar.
In the beautiful theater of Châtelet, heart of Paris, Messi received the award under the gaze of his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, and two of his children, Thiago and Mateo. He wore a relatively discreet suit when compared to the uniforms of the past and his speech was the same as always, that is not his forte. Of the gala, turned into a show and in which the best player, the best young man under 21 and the best goalkeeper were also rewarded, he highlighted the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, who already knows that he does not go where he does not They recognize him. This Monday, for the sixth time, was the night of Messi, only on the pedestal.
The Top Ten of the Golden Ball 2019
1. Leo Messi
2. Virgil Van Dijk
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
4. Sadio Mane
5. Mohamed Salah
6. Kylian Mbappé
8. Robert Lewandowski
9. Bernardo Silva
10. Riyad Mahrez. (TagsToTranslate) messi (t) ball