Lionel Messi was at Paris Saint-Germain when the 2022 Ballon d’Or was awarded. The highest individual honor in football went to former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
The veteran striker scored 44 goals and registered 15 assists, leading to his winning the award. Messi spoke in the documentary “Ballon d’Or 2022: The Race Towards Eternity” and shared his thoughts during that year before heading into the ceremony to give the award.
While the Argentine was one of the names in competition with the Frenchman, he does state that Benzema was the rightful winner that year.
“Benzema really deserved it for the great season he had and for his entire career,” Messi said (h/t Foot Mercato). “He’s a wonderful player. This award is important for him and for football.”
Messi shouldn’t be too down, as the former PSG star is likely the favorite to win the Ballon d’Or this year, coming off his performance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The 36-year-old lifted the trophy that had long eluded him.
However, Erling Haaland also had a great season and won the 2023 UEFA Champions League. Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappé also has his name in the mix. Nonetheless, all signs point to Messi winning the honor.