Messi struggled in his first season with Paris Saint-Germain, while Ronaldo and Manchester United went trophyless and finished outside the top four during the 2021-22 campaign.
As a result, Karim Benzema would win the honor to cap off an excellent year for the Real Madrid striker. Nonetheless, talkSPORT’s Tim Sherwood believes this is the end of the line for Messi and Ronaldo being in the Ballon d’Or picture.
“We’re going to see some new winners,” Sherwood said Tuesday on talkSPORT. “Obviously. It’s going to be no more Messi and no more Ronaldo. We’ve enjoyed it while it lasts, but I think it’s time for the new breed [Kylian] Mbappé, possibly. Certainly [Erling] Haaland. I see him winning it because of his output, which is incredible.”
🏆 “The run he had in the #UCL when they were up against it. Benzema deserves it!”
👀 “We’re going to see some new winners now. They’ll be no more Messi or Ronaldo!”
🗣 “It’s time for the new breed!”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) October 18, 2022
Both players are in their mid to late 30s, and Benzema winning it while neither of the two players was even on the podium does reveal that times are changing regarding the individual award.
However, Messi does have an ideal opportunity to claim another Ballon d’Or as Argentina is the favorite to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Should the 35-year-old play a significant role in the South American nation winning the tournament, it puts him right back in the picture for the award.
Suppose the veteran forward continues his current form and helps PSG win its first-ever UEFA Champions League trophy this season. In that case, Messi’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or will also increase.
So Messi claiming one last award isn’t crazy to think. It will be up to the Argentine to prove people like Sherwood wrong.