Messi’s Kopa Trophy Picks Spark Controversy, Bellingham Snubbed

Lionel Messi, the winner of this year’s Ballon d’Or, and Karim Benzema both voted against Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham for the Kopa Trophy.

Lionel Messi picked a former teammate, Pedri, and Jamal Musiala, over Jude Bellingham for the Kopa Trophy

In the Kopa Trophy ballot, Lionel Messi chose Jamal Musiala and Pedri over Jude Bellingham, but it didn’t prevent the Englishman from taking home the prize in Paris a month ago.

Thirty-two past Ballon d’Or winners choose the best three Under-21 players in international football to award the Kopa Trophy. There are three points awarded to the top pick, two to runners-up, and one to third-place finishers.

Jude Bellingham quá nhanh, quá nguy hiểm - Báo Đồng Nai điện tử

After 90 minutes, Real Madrid star Bellingham had a 48-point lead against Musiala and Pedri. However, the votes of 12 previous Ballon d’Or winners have been published, and Messi, who won his seventh Ballon d’Or at the same ceremony in Paris last week, voted for Musiala and Pedri instead of the 19-year-old.

Aside from Messi, only last year’s Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema was overlooked by Bellingham as Messi was. The other nominees included Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Marco van Basten, Ronaldinho, Oleg Blokhin, Luka Modric, Andriy Shevchenko, Fabio Cannavaro, Ronaldo Nazario, and Kaka.

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Benzema, who now plays for Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, first chose Eduardo Camavinga, a former colleague from Real, then Pedri, and then Bellingham. The England international’s Kopa Trophy victory was definitely assisted by his explosive start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu. In 13 appearances in all competitions, the midfielder has contributed to 13 goals and three assists.

A look at Jude Bellingham's impressive start to Real Madrid career - The  Irish News

He remarked, “It’s quite an impressive roster of former winners. Being in the same room with some of the greatest players of all time is an incredible honor. While I am grateful for this honor, I am more focused on continuing to assist Real Madrid and England win championships for the foreseeable future.

Jude Bellingham Real Madrid Receives Trophy 新闻传媒库存照片- 库存图片| Shutterstock

However, Bellingham ranked Messi higher than Messi’s ex-Borussia Dortmund colleague Erling Haaland as the most deserving winner of the Ballon d’Or. “It’s World Cup year and Lionel Messi had a fantastic World Cup, he deserves to win the Ballon d’Or,” remarked Bellingham.

Jude Bellingham: England and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham wins  2023 Kopa Trophy | Football News | Sky Sports

It’s quite doubtful that Messi will ever play in one of Europe’s top five divisions for a club team again. The 36-year-old has settled nicely at Inter Miami after choosing the club over the financial opportunities in Saudi Arabia and Barcelona. Messi has stated publicly that his time with European clubs has ended.

When asked if he will ever play in Europe again, Messi said L’Equipe, “Yes.” “With God’s help, I had a fantastic career in Europe and achieved every goal I set for myself. I don’t see myself ever going back to playing in Europe after having experienced life in the United States.

Jude Bellingham wins 2023 Kopa Trophy

It wasn’t like that,” Messi continued, “I could have returned. It was very much like what happened in the year 2021. Going to Paris [Saint-Germain] in 2021 was a lot like that. It was always a dream of mine to retire in Barcelona, and I often fantasized about going back there.

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