Lionel Messi: Ballon d'Or shouldn't be given to PSG star because of red card - Frank Leboeuf

Lionel Messi

Next month, the winner of the 2021 Ballon d’Or will be announced with Lionel Messi currently favourite.

After the cancellation of the 2020 award, all eyes will be on the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on November 29.

Who will be picking up the most prestigious individual accolade in football?

ENTER GIVEAWAY

ENTER GIVEAWAY

As mentioned, Messi is favourite to claim his seventh Ballon d’Or having led Argentina to Copa America glory in the summer.

However, it’s far from a done deal.

Robert Lewandowski’s ridiculous goalscoring record means he also has a fair chance of winning the award he richly deserved last season.

Chelsea duo Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are also in the running for helping their side win the Champions League - while Jorginho helped Italy to Euro 2020 glory.

All four would be worthy winners.

Quiz: Can you name the footballer based on their Wikipedia page?

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Wikipedia Page No.1

Who moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000?

Although not according to former French defender, Frank Leboeuf.

That’s because he’s come up with a bizarre theory why Messi doesn’t deserve to win the Ballon d’Or for a seventh time.

The reason being that he was sent off in the Spanish Super Cup back in January.

No, really?

The ultimate Lionel Messi quiz

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Which city was Lionel Messi born and raised?

Leboeuf doesn't think Messi should win Ballon d'Or

We’ll let Leboeuf explain…

"In 2000 and 2006, Zidane didn't win the Ballon d'Or because he got a red card in each year,” the former Chelsea man said.

“Messi got a red card in the Spanish Super Cup for punching someone, that counts. If we didn't give it to Zizou, we shouldn't give it to Messi."

Leboeuf on Lionel Messi

Sorry, what?

So if you get a red card in the year, you’re out of the running for the Ballon d’Or?

There can’t be too many people left with a shout, can there?

That’s before we even get into the Zidane theory.

Zidane came second in the Ballon d’Or vote in 2000, behind Luis Figo by such a small margin. And many people believe that he lost out in the vote because, weeks previously, he was sent off in a Champions League match for a shocking headbutt during Juventus vs Hamburg. Zidane was banned for five matches and his actions may have cost him the Ballon d'Or.

Then, in 2006, he once again head-butted an opponent. This time, it came in the World Cup final between France and Italy with Marco Materazzi being the victim. France went on to lose the final on penalties and Zidane retired after the match. Italian captain, Fabio Cannavaro, went on to win the Ballon d’Or that year.

Retiring midway through the calendar year probably did as much damage to his Ballon d’Or chances as his headbutt, in fairness.

So, onto Messi.

Messi was sent off in the Spanish Super Cup final in January for striking Asier Villalibre during Barcelona’s defeat to Athletic Bilbao.

Does that mean he shouldn't win the Ballon d'Or?

What about all of his goals, performances and the fact he won Copa America? Are they just forgotten about because of one moment?

Also, we're not sure you can you really compare Messi lashing out to Zidane’s two headbutts. Headbutting a player is a far more serious act than what Messi did.

Maybe Leboeuf is simply trying to do his best to stop Messi from winning the Ballon d'Or again. But we doubt many voters will be remembering Messi’s red card back in January when casting their opinion.

Benzema or Mo Salah? Does Jorginho deserve the Ballon d'Or (The Football Terrace)

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