After winning the Qatar 2022 World Cup with Argentina, Lionel Messi secured his eighth Ballon d’Or surpassing Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland in the final vote. This individual award was the crowning achievement for a dream year.

Now, Messi has a significant lead in the list of top winners of the award given by France Football magazine. Cristiano Ronaldo is in second place with 5, followed by Michael Platini (3), Johan Cruyff (3) and Marco van Basten (3).

A few weeks after the gala in Paris, Wesley Sneijder has sparked a new controversy by stating that Lionel Messi should not have won the 2010 Ballon d’Or.

On that occasion, the Dutchman wasn’t even among the top three finalists, given the spectacular year of Xavi and Andres Iniesta. That was remarkable considering Sneijder won the treble with Inter Milan and led the Netherlands to the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Wesley Sneijder: Lionel Messi should not have won the 2010 Ballon d’Or

Even though Sneijder ended 2010 with the Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia, he finished fourth in the Ballon d’Or voting. Messi claimed the award for the second consecutive time with Andres Iniesta and Xavi completing the podium. These were Wesley’s recent words during an interview with AlHayah TV.

“It was a bit unfair that I wasn’t crowned with the 2010 Ballon d’Or and Messi won it. Although I’m not the type of person to cry over it, the Ballon d’Or is an individual award and what I prefer is winning collective trophies. If I had to choose between the Champions League and the Ballon d’Or, I would choose the Champions League I achieved. I am very happy with that title.”

Did Lionel Messi deserve to win the 2010 Ballon d’Or?

Lionel Messi won the 2010 Ballon d’Or with 22.67% of the votes. Andres Iniesta had 17.36% and Xavi 16.48%. Wesley Sneijder finished fourth (14.48%) and Diego Forlan in fifth place (7.61%).

Certainly, the decision generated a lot of controversy because, in a World Cup year, experts believed that a player who won in South Africa should have taken home the award. Just as it happened in 2023 with Messi.

In that year, the most significant collective title for Messi was La Liga in Spain, while Xavi and Iniesta had the World Cup. On the other hand, Wesley Sneijder had achieved the historic treble with Inter Milan.

SURVEY Who should have won the 2010 Ballon d\'Or?

Who should have won the 2010 Ballon d\'Or?