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Messi breaks his silence on controversial Ballon d’Or win



Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi said he is grateful to be named among the greatest players in world football, but the Argentina forward stressed he does not attach too much importance to individual glory.

Messi won the Ballon d’Or award for a record-stretching seventh time on Monday, beating Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho to be named the world’s best player.

The Paris Saint-Germain player added the prestigious trophy to his 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019 wins after topping La Liga’s goal scoring charts last season and winning the Copa America for the first time with his country last July.

“For me, the mere fact that I can be considered or cited as one of the best players in the world is more than enough,” Messi said in an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe.

“I don’t know how to say it so it won’t be misinterpreted… It’s not that I’m not interested, but I don’t attach much importance to it. It doesn’t matter to me if I’m the best or not. And I’ve never tried to be the best either.”

Messi stunned the sports world in the close season when he left boyhood club Barcelona and joined PSG on a two-year deal. He remains Barcelona’s record scorer with 672 goals.


The 34-year-old is idolised the world over but said he does not enjoy giving advice as a role model to younger players.

“I fought for my dreams. At first it was to be a professional player, then I tried to excel and reach new goals every year,” Messi said.

“In the middle of all this, there is also a part of luck. It also depends on God, I believe he chose for all this to happen to me.”



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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