The fleeting “appearance” of Messi in the delivery of the Ballon d’Or that earned one of the most thunderous ovations of the gala

* The moment of the irruption of the Flea

Leo Messi won seven Ballon d’Or in its history, including last year’s award. However, he was not among the nominees at the 2022 gala. Although it is true that he had an irregular previous season, marked by injuries, COVID-19 and the tortuous move from Barcelona to PSGit was controversial that he did not appear on the list of applicants.

However, and although he did not go through the red carpet where he is a regular, he was present at the ceremony held at the Theater du Chatelet. It is that at the beginning of the event the opening was in charge of the singer Andrea Bocelli, who clarified with his privileged voice the video through which all the winners of the scepter passed. As the images appeared, the stars were receiving applause from the inhabitants of the seats.

And who closed the tour? Yes, the photo of Messi, with his seven balls and the years in which he raised them (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021). And there one of the highest ovations of the day was heard, comparable to the one received by the locals Zinedine Zidane and Karim Benzemathe great winner of the gala.

Why didn’t the 35-year-old Argentine enter the 30 nominees? The modifications in the selection criteria were one of the arguments, since the vote was more focused on the individual performance of the players and the honors achieved by the protagonists in their careers were relegated. Another change was that the calendar of the seasons is now measured, not annualized (January to December), which, for example, left out of consideration the Copa América title that Leo won with the Argentine team after beating Brazil in the mythical Maracana.

Faced with this scenario, it can be said that the star from Rosario had less impressive numbers from the statistical point of view in the evaluated period (2021-2022): he played 34 games with his new team. There were 26 in the local tournament, which included 10 goals and 14 assists, which speaks of his role. He won Ligue 1. At the same time, he led the Argentine team in qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar and celebrated the Finalissima, with a win against Italy at Wembley. For L’Equipe Y French Football turned out to be insufficient.

Benzema, star of Real Madrid, kept the award (REUTERS / Benoit Tessier)

Despite residing in Paris, where he shines at PSG, Messi did not participate in the gala in which one of the hosts was the former footballer Didier Drogba. If the numbers left him out of the election for the Ballon d’Or last season, in the current one he is in the race with force.

He has already won the French Super Cup and shows a very high performance in trident with Neymar and Mbappé (eight goals and eight assists this season). Yes, right on the threshold of the World Cup in Qatar, his fifth World Cup and, perhaps, the greatest goal he has left in his career. Perhaps, at the next gala, he will have a much more preponderant role than a photo, beyond the fact that it was enough for him to earn a thunderous ovation.

The Andrea Bocelli show that accompanied the "appearance" Messi (Andrea Bocelli REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)
The Andrea Bocelli show that accompanied Messi’s “appearance” (Andrea Bocelli REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)

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The fleeting “appearance” of Messi in the delivery of the Ballon d’Or that earned one of the most thunderous ovations of the gala