Lionel Messi didn’t deserve to win Ballon d’Or this year – Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger believes Lionel Messi didn’t deserve to win the 2012 Ballon d’Or Award last year. The Arsenal manager has revealed that he wouldn’t have voted for the Argentine goal-scoring machine since Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta were more deserving candidates.
Lionel Messi won his fourth successive Ballon d’Or last month in Zurich, although Cristiano Ronaldo was expected to come up with an upset.
Arsene Wenger takes no shame in admitting Lionel Messi is the best player he has ever laid his eyes upon, but he feels as if injustice has been done to the efforts of Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta, both of whom were pivotal to their team’s success last season.
Cristiano Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win the La Liga title, an event which finally broke Barcelona’s years of dominance in the Spanish league. In the process of taking Real Madrid to glory, Cristiano Ronaldo also became the highest goal-scorer in La Liga.
Meanwhile, Andres Iniesta helped Spain retain the European Championship. The Spaniard was also named player of the tournament for his important contributions to Spain.
On the other hand, Lionel Messi broke the record for the highest number of goals scored in a calendar year. The 25-year-old Argentine football prodigy scored an astounding 91 goals to surpass Gerd Mueller’s 85-goal record. Lionel Messi also helped Barcelona with their Copa del Rey triumph.
Arsene Wenger believes Lionel Messi was awarded for his personal achievements rather than what he helped Barcelona achieve last season. The Frenchman pointed out that for this reason and more, Lionel Messi wouldn’t have won his vote.
“No, not this year,” Arsene Wenger told Arsenal’s official website. “For me Messi is certainly the best player I have ever seen in the game, but I believe that this year he has really been rewarded for what he did individually, rather than what he won for his team.
“For once he has not been in a team that won absolutely everything. He did not win the Champions League, he did not win the Spanish league and he didn’t win anything with his country, but individually it’s true he had an exceptional year, scoring 91 goals.
“I believe he has been rewarded for that, but for me I’m more a fan of collective sport, so I feel people like Casillas, Ronaldo – who won the championship – and especially Iniesta deserved it more. He’s always number two or three, but he won the European Championship with Spain – he could have deserved it this year.”