Manchester City star Rodri recently stated that he was not surprised at missing out on the Ballon d’Or Top 3 to Lionel Messi & others, as he believes it is a popularity contest.
Speaking to The Mirror, the Spaniard opined that the award was not just about the performances on the pitch. He claims that the marketing of the player and money they draw also plays a key role. He said:
“I am not surprised. This is normal. I understand very well how things work in these individual awards. They are based on marketing, money and advertising. There have been midfielders before who were also Spanish who did not get what they deserved.”
“Do you understand what I mean? (Laughs). What ultimately matters to me in football is what I achieved collectively.”
Rodri played a key role in Manchester City’s treble-winning season. He scored in the UEFA Champions League final to help them win their first-ever European trophy.
Ballon d’Or is losing credibility, claims Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed that the Ballon d’Or and FIFA The Best awards are losing their credibility. He believes that the awards are no longer looking at the performances alone.
He said in an interview with Record:
“It’s not to say that Messi didn’t deserve it, or Haaland or even Mbappe… but the numbers are there, and the numbers don’t deceive. You have to consider the entire season. The numbers are facts. If you go back and see what happened at Manchester United and the national team, people actually considered me lost… But the truth is that I focused and had a great period at Al Nassr, that’s why I scored 54 goals.”
Arsenal legend Ian Wright also claimed that the individual awards are now more of a popularity content and said via Optus Sport:
“If I’m Haaland, to go and score 52 goals, win the treble which hasn’t been done here since Man United done it, you’d just think to yourself, I’m going to have to do that again next season!”
The former Gunners forward added:
“You don’t want these players to finish, and it might just be a popularity contest, but they don’t have something to show for it which is why I’m quite pleased Benzema ended up winning one [Ballon d’Or].”
Lionel Messi won the FIFA World Cup in 2022, but won the FIFA The Best award for 2023 despite the voting starting the day after the final in Qatar. The mega tournament was accounted for in the 2023 Ballon d’Or calendar.