It’s already been more than a week since Lionel Messi emerged victorious at the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony. But some are still unhappy with the result. Didier Deschamps, for instance, has once again claimed Kylian Mbappe deserved the prize.
In an interview with BeIn Sports, the French national team head coach revealed that the Paris Saint-Germain superstar is quite upset with the result as well. Last year, the 24-year-old almost took France to glory at Qatar 2022.
“He deserved to win it. It’s a disappointment that he came third,” Deschamps said. “After that, these are votes by journalists from all over the world. I’m not saying that Messi didn’t deserve it or that Haaland didn’t deserve it. He’s young, but with what he’s achieved, he would have deserved it. I don’t have to console him. He’s disappointed.“
Messi got the upper hand over Mbappe in the World Cup final, helping Argentina beat France on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw. The 36-year-old bagged a brace, while the PSG striker recorded a hat-trick.
That result seems to explain why Messi received the most votes for this year’s Ballon d’Or, given to the best player of the 2022-23 season. Erling Haaland was also a strong contender after winning the treble with Manchester City, but Messi’s World Cup seemed to weigh more than anything else.
Deschamps also complains about countries that didn’t vote for Mbappe
Apart from being upset with the fact that Mbappe didn’t win, Deschamps also called out the journalists who didn’t include the Frenchman in their top five. 180 journalists from 180 different nations choose their favorites, but for the 55-year-old it’s strange that Mbappe isn’t a unanimous pick.
“After that, the votes… These are votes that come from all over the place. I was surprised, to say the least, and even a little more surprised by some people’s votes,” Deschamps said. “Not putting Mbappe in the top five is really… I’m not going to use the word dishonesty, but it’s not far off all the same.”
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Did Mbappe deserve to win the Ballon d\'Or this year?
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Only eight countries didn’t vote for Mbappe at the 2023 Ballon d’Or: Algeria, Bosnia, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, Lebanon, Panama, Norway, and Switzerland. Meanwhile, four nations picked Mbappe as their first choice: Cameroon, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, and Ecuador.
Messi believes Mbappe will be a Ballon d’Or favorite from now on
In his Ballon d’Or acceptance speech, Messi suggested he doesn’t see himself winning the award for a ninth occasion. Instead, he expects younger stars to take over, with Mbappe and Haaland leading the race from now on.
“It’s going to be a nice fight between the two of them and between several other younger players around here. They both deserved it this year,” Leo said. Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano ‘Dibu’ Martinez has also backed Mbappe to win many Ballon d’Ors in the future, when Messi and Ronaldo are no longer active.