The XI with most goal+assist contributions in 2021 features Messi - but not Ronaldo
No player in world football has more goal contributions than Robert Lewandowski in 2021That's something of an understatement really, with the Argentine enduring a very difficult start to life at Paris Saint-Germain.
Lionel Messi won the 2021 Men's Ballon d'Or on Monday evening. © GiveMeSport Lionel Messi and Ray Hudson
The result has caused a stir, with many big names in the footballing world thinking he didn't deserve it.
Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos believes it was an undeserved victory.
"For me, Karim [Benzema] 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 told his official podcast Einfach mal Luppen, per Eurosport.
"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."
'Cristiano Ronaldo's only ambition is to retire with more Ballon d'Ors than Lionel Messi'
Ronaldo has won the award five times, his last triumph coming back in 2017The 2021/22 season hasn't been easy for the Paris Saint-Germain superstar, but there's no getting away from the fact that he's had an incredible year overall.
© Provided by Give Me Sport
He added: “There is no doubt that together with Cristiano, he has been the best player of the last decade, but this year it should be another forward.”
Iker Casillas, Oliver Khan and Lothar Matthaus also all think Messi wasn't the most deserving winner.
But one man who firmly agrees with the decision is legendary commentator, Ray Hudson.
Hudson has waxed lyrical about Messi multiple times in the past and he's in no doubt that the Argentine deserved to win the award for a seventh time. © Provided by Give Me Sport
"The Mozart of our game, for eternity..the rest? Banjo players," he started.
"All the cynics, critics & haters, keep throwing ya bricks at him! He takes them & builds another monument to his genius w/them!
Why the Ballon d’Or has become a meaningless accolade
The winner of this year's Ballon d'Or will be announced in Paris on Monday. But who really cares?Lionel Messi is the current holder of the Ballon d’Or, reclaiming his crown from Luka Modric, who surprisingly won the award following Real Madrid and Croatia’s success in 2018. The integrity of the award – alongside many other individual accolades – has been called into question in recent years. Frankly, the Ballon d’Or really doesn’t matter anymore.
"Messi`s world. Where the insane & impossible, becomes the expected!"
Hudson then replied to a fan who asked whether he thought Messi deserved to triumph or not. © Provided by Give Me Sport
Messi winning the 2021 Ballon d'Or was very controversial.
Man United NICK A POINT at Stamford Bridge! Full reaction on The Football Terrace...
But, in Hudson's eyes, there was nothing controversial about it whatsoever.
Toni Kroos slams Messi's Ballon d'Or win and thinks Ronaldo should have finished above him .
Messi won a record-breaking seventh Ballon d'Or trophy in ParisHaving previously won France Football's prestigious prize in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019, Messi moved even further clear of Cristiano Ronaldo with his latest triumph this year.