Real Madrid walked away from Monday night’s Ballon D’or ceremony empty handed as Lionel Messi won a record seventh title.
Los Blancos had three players in the hunt of awards, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric both nominated for the main trophy while Thibaut Courtois was seeking to win the very first Yashin trophy. None of them managed to take home honors although Karim did come fourth in the Ballon D’or race with 239 votes, above his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. Modric is still one of the world’s top 30 players according to the French award, though no one voted him the best outright.
The lower rankings in the Ballon d'Or really aren't worth getting worked up about.— Euan McTear (@emctear) November 29, 2021
The system used means each voter only picks five players. So almost nobody is picking the players 15th through 30th anyway. One point for one player can be the difference between, eg, 23rd or 27th.
Meanwhile, Barcelona had a fruitful evening with their former men’s captain obviously taking home another Ballon D’or due to his contributions for both the Catalans and his new club Paris Saint Germain. Barca still do have the best women’s player in Alexei Putellas, whom won her first Ballon d’Or Féminin and this year’s Kopa trophy winner in Pedri.
It’s a tough pill for Real Madrid to swallow given how used the club were to dominating the individual accolades once upon a time, however, it’s not all doom and gloom. Karim is still at the top of his game with 16 goals and assists so far this season while Luka Modric has continued to play like a man half his age. Not to mention Real are eyeing up a move for the sixth best player in the world (according to the Ballon D’or) in January. Hopefully, 2022 will prove a more fruitful trip to Paris.