Lionel Messi’s lifelong dream of winning the World Cup with Argentina came to fruition after his team outclassed the defending champion France at Lusail Stadium. The lack of a World Cup title was always held against him, and it was one reason why many were still not convinced of his greatness. However, he put end to such debates. Messi has now won every title a footballer dreams of, but he is not done yet.
It is now reported that Messi is on his way to winning Super Ballon d’Or, the most prestigious and rare award, whose only recipient to date is the legendary Alfredo Di Stéfano.
The Super Ballon d’Or was introduced by the France Football Magazine in 1989 to commemorate its 30th anniversary. It is said that the award is given once in 30 years, but there’s no compulsion. Only if a football player has achieved truly legendary status,
winning every accolade at an individual level and with the team, he should be considered for the award.
To win this award you need to be born in a European country. De Stefano, however, was born in Argentina, but he was still eligible for the award because of his Spanish nationality.
Alfredo Di Stefano is arguably the greatest European footballer to grace the game. Born to an Italian-Argentine father, Stefano spent his formative years in Buenos Aires, and quite early in his footballing career, he was acquired by Club Atlético River Plate. He scored six goals for Argentina in their title-winning 1947 Copa America campaign, but a nationwide strike brought a halt to football, and he had to forcefully move to Colombia, where Real Madrid scout noticed him and convinced him to join the Spanish club.
Di Stefano retired as a Real Madrid legend, playing a crucial role in the golden era of the club, where they won five consecutive European cups from 1956 to 1960. He won the European Footballer of the Year award twice, and finished as the leading goal-
scorer for Real Madrid, a record that is not broken by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
There’s a strong possibility of France Football changing their rules this year to allow non-European players to win this award. After winning the World Cup this year with Argentina, Messi’s CV is unparalleled. While there was never a shade of doubt about
his quality at the club level, his international form has been nothing short of extraordinary.
Messi has seven Ballon d’Or, three more than anyone else in history, and is primed to win his eighth if he carries on the same form for the rest of the season with the PSG. He has also won 10 La Liga titles, 4 Champions League titles, seven Copa del Rey, and one Copa America title. Moreover, Messi has close to 800 goals for his club and career.
Perhaps no one. Messi is alone in his league. While some might mention Cristiano Ronaldo, his record is, at best, comparable, but nowhere as good as Messi’s. Moreover, his professional career at the top level has already come to an end, while Messi is still playing at an incredible level for PSG. Thus Messi has a clear advantage and seems to be the only contender for the prestigious Super Ballon d’Or.
PSG will be challenging for the club’s first-ever Champions League title this season, and if they manage to win it, Messi might also win his eighth Ballon d’Or next yaer. This season Karim Benzema has also been bogged down by injury, while Mbappe and
Neymar are in good form, but the biggest advantage Messi has over them is the World
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