In the city of light, nobody shone more than Messi. In a tuxedo, in conjunction with the suits of his three sons, Thiago, Mateo and Ciro, also accompanied by his wife, the 10th sublimated with this Ballon d’Or an exemplary career that guarantees him a place in Olympus. The award confirms him as an incomparable and eternal footballer. Another night in which the Argentine put the world at his feet, idolized by hundreds of enthusiastic fans, crowded outside the Chatelet Theater.
Many friends wanted to be next to Messi last night. Luis Suárez and his partner, Sofía Balbi, Mbappé and the staff of a PSG that was not going to miss a historic moment: Leonardo, sports manager and president Al Khelaifi. Neymar could not approach the banks of the Seine after injuring himself on Sunday against Saint-Étienne. The hug with President Laporta was also missing, with whom the public reunion did not invite to think that there has been a rapprochement since his forced goodbye to Barça last summer.
Didier Drogba, together with the journalist Sandy Heribert, presented a gala marked by the prominence of Leo, who has not lost the smile of that introverted young man who stepped on the Camp Nou for the first time. Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, Alpine riders, sponsor of the event, took the stage with Messi’s prize and Alexia Putellas’ prize with black helmets that they took off to the surprise of all those present.
One of the most emotional moments of the ceremony came with the recognition of Alexia Putellas. The first Spanish women’s Ballon d’Or explained the attendance of Luis Rubiales, president of the Federation. The Barça star arrived in Paris accompanied by his mother, tremendously emotional, his sister and his aunt. Her colleagues, Lieke Martens, Irene Paredes, Sandra Paños and Jenni Hermoso smiled from the amphitheater with the pride of someone who knows that they have marked a before and after. They are here to stay. His triumph is everyone’s. As also for Pedri, the most promising player in the world for France Football. The canary was with his parents, his brother and his agent to toast the future.
Although Messi is no longer wearing the Barça shirt, the gala was dyed Barça. The Argentine, however, tiptoed through his past at the club, aware that there are open wounds and that he raised the Ballon d’Or for his success in the Copa América: “I couldn’t imagine ending my career without offering Argentina joy ”, He said after appropriating a trophy that accredits him as the best.
Boos to Butragueño
Lewandowski offered his best face when appearing in Paris despite finishing second. Benzema, third, preferred to stay in Madrid. Butragueño represented him in his place, rebuked when he arrived at the Chatelet square by a Parisian hobby who intuited that he was going to take Mbappé next year. Curiously, the protocol placed him next to Leonardo. A theater full of personalities and one that the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, did not miss.