It’s a rather strange choice from France Football, which is hosting one of football’s most prestigious events, the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony, on a Monday evening after canceling its previous edition due to COVID. While the red carpet is always a banger – as is the organization of the event by Chelsea legend Didier Drogba – it takes away some of the glamor of the usual weekend award events in others. entertainment formats.
But enough about bad management choices! It’s time to talk about the winners, who were many.
The Ballon d’Or offered this year some “surprise” rewards to the public, taken aback by their presence even though they made a lot of sense in the grand scheme of things. One of them was the Club of the Year award, the first recipient of which was none other than ourselves!
It would be very difficult to argue against awarding Chelsea the Ballon d’Or for their exploits last season, both male and female. The former won his second Champions League title against all odds, clearly beating favorite Manchester City on a wonderful night here in Porto. While the latter was a tour de force at the national level, handily winning the Women’s Super League and the League Cup while reaching the Women’s Champions League final for the first time in history.
The second surprise prize was the striker of the year. The year we lost football legend Gerd Müller was also the year that Bayern Munich legend Robert Lewandowski broke his record of 40 Bundesliga goals, unbeaten for almost 50 years. The Polish international was the deserved recipient of the award.
The Koka Trophy, awarded by France Football to the world’s best player under 21, was awarded to young Barcelona midfielder Pedri.
From them, all eyes turned to the most prestigious awards of the evening. The Yashin Trophy, named after revolutionary Soviet Union goalkeeper Lev Yashin, had our Edward Mendy in contention after his exploits to help us win the Champions League last season.
It is then that injustice will begin. Although Gianluigi Donnarumma is an excellent goalkeeper and has been very important to AC Milan and the Italian European champions throughout last season, Mendy was one of the missing pieces of a puzzle that has resulted in the ultimate European glory of the Blues.
Mendy came second on the list, followed by Atlético Madrid’s Jan Oblak, Manchester City’s Ederson and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer.
The women’s Ballon d’Or was perhaps Chelsea’s best chance for individual glory, given the opportunity lost in the Yashin Trophy. However, Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas, who was one of the keys to transforming the Catalans into women’s football mastodons, took the award ahead of Sam Kerr, Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder, Magdalena Eriksson and Jessie Fleming.
The male counterpart of the Ballon d’Or remains the most important prize of the evening. Some felt there was a real chance for Chelsea midfielder Jorginho to win it, given he was clearly the most decorated player last season leading winning efforts in both the League of Nations. champions and in the European Championship.
But some things will never change.
A seventh Ballon d’Or for Lionel Messi, formerly of Barcelona and now at Paris Saint-Germain. At the very least, the points advantage over second place Lewandowski was only 33 points. While Jorginho was 120 points behind Lewa, with 460 in total.
It was not our night in terms of individual applause. But football is a team effort, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Chelsea win the Club of the Year award for seasons to come in exchange for another 50 years of Messi-Ronaldo trading for the Ballons d’Or.