The details of the Ballon d’Or votes published this Saturday in the columns of France Football are rich in information.
The award of the 2021 Golden Ball to Lionel Messi has sparked heated debate. And not only in Germany or Poland where Robert Lewandowski’s second place went particularly badly. It was the same in Spain where Tomas Roncero, editor-in-chief of AS, spoke of a ” prank call “, of a “Injustice” after the announcement of the verdict. Without much surprise …
Even before knowing the results, the journalist from Madrid had fired red balls to discuss the possible coronation of Lionel Messi. ” If we give Messi the Ballon d’Or, it will be a scandal “ , he wrote, adding ” giving Messi the Ballon d’Or would be a historic fraud. “ And Tomas Roncero had an explanation for this fraud: the mode of operation of the suffrage with 180 voters from 180 countries, including, according to him, journalists not very aware of the matches. “Voters from Burundi or Tanzania probably don’t see many matches”, he had explained.
While France Football published on Saturday the details of the Ballon d’Or votes, it is interesting to look at the votes in question. And while the journalist from Tanzania did not respond, the journalist from Burundi actually voted for Lionel Messi ahead of Robert Lewandowski, N’Golo Kanté completing the podium ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku.
No change on the podium
It is clearly not one of the strangest votes. Surprising votes that are not the prerogative of small nations as evidenced by the De Bruyne-Jorginho-Mbappé-Lukaku-Neymar quintet. Would the results of the Golden Ball therefore have been different if we only took into account the votes of the great footballing nations?
What if we only keep, for example, the votes of England, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, Portugal, countries -Bas, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, which we can – arbitrarily – consider as the major nations of football? The verdict is terrible for Tomas Roncero: Lionel Messi retains his Ballon d’Or. With 36 points, the Argentine is still ahead of Robert Lewandowski (34 points) while Jorginho (27) completes the podium. If Karim Benzema (18 points) retains his fourth place, Cristiano Ronaldo (15 points) invites himself in the Top 5 to the detriment of N’Golo Kanté (12 points).