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Robert Lewandowski says Lionel Messi’s 2022 World Cup win with Argentina has made him the leading favourite for the next Ballon d’Or.
In his final World Cup campaign, Messi led the Albiceleste to glory in Qatar, scoring twice in the final before his side beat Kylian Mbappe and France in the penalty shootout.
Messi wasn’t nominated for the 2022 award which was claimed by Karim Benzema and although the next ceremony won’t be for the best part of a year, Lewandowski said he believed Messi had become the favourite for the next golden ball following his World Cup win.
He said: “There is maybe one more player who plays for the same club but there is only one World Cup that decides who is going to win it this season and Leo is now in the top position for sure because of what he has achieved which means everything to him. He now can enjoy it.”
Messi has been linked with a return to Barcelona in the future. Lewandowski has made an excellent start to his career in Catalonia and admitted Messi returning would be an incredible prospect.
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“It’s not up to me. But compared to other times, he is now the footballer that any striker would dream of playing alongside him.”
90min understands PSG are convinced Messi will stay in France and sign a new contract, though the Argentina forward is not looking to commit for more than 18 months. Major League Soccer side Inter Miami want Messi to join them in Florida, though he is likely to stay in Europe for another two seasons.