The Ballon d’Or is just around the corner, meaning that much of the discourse in European football has turned to which footballer deserves the game’s greatest individual prize.
As ever, public perception over who should be named the world’s greatest player has changed as the year has progressed.
Messi won the Copa del Rey with Barcelona and the Copa America with Argentina before leaving Spain for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. Cristiano became the all-time top scorer in the history of international football through his exploits with Portugal.
Benzema – arguably the most in-form player in European football right now – has been superb for Real Madrid and helped France beat La Roja to win the Nations League this past weekend.
Jorginho won both the Champions League with Chelsea and Euro 2020 with Italy, while Lewandowski has been ruthlessly consistent for the all-conquering Bayern Munich. It’s a tight race.
“I’m fed up that they keep giving it to Leo Messi. What are they going to tell me he did this year, win the Copa America? Well, that’s fine. But tell me what he did in the year with Barcelona.”
Evra, a left-back who enjoyed his best years with Manchester United and Juventus, lost three Champions League finals to Messi. Barcelona beat United in Rome in 2009 and London in 2011, while the Catalan club also beat Juventus in Berlin in 2015.