The prestigious award was won by Luka Modric.
FC Barcelona legend, Xavi Hernandez feels it was ‘unfair’ for his former teammate Lionel Messi to finish in 5th spot for the Balon d’Or.
The Spanish football maestro is currently plying his trade in Al Sadd in Qatar, opined about the matter during Saturday’s media interview at the design launch of the Lusail Stadium, the venue for the opening and the closing matches, in the FIFA World Cup 2022. The midfielder was shocked and could not understand how Lionel Messi finished so low in the football’s most prestigious individual award.
“In my opinion, it’s not fair,” Xavi said of the Ballon d’Or result. “He is the best player that I’ve seen ever. I would give him every year for Ballon d’Or, but I don’t give this Ballon d’Or.”
Ronaldo ended in the runner’s spot for the award, as Messi shockingly fell off from the top three list for the first time since 2007. The Argentine has captured back to back award from 2009-12 and then again returned after a gap in 2015 when he inspired his side to win the UEFA Champions League.
Argentina’s performance in this year’s World Cup in Russia was hot and cold. Messi tried his level best, though the Albiceleste failed to make any big impact at the grand event. It was France who bagged their second World Cup title and Les Blues, Antoinne Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe finished at a higher spot collecting more votes than Messi.
“Modric is all right and I’m happy for him,” said Xavi who finished third in the 2010 Ballon d’Or. “But honestly, Messi is the best.”
Xavi also made a revelation saying that this year will his last season as a footballer, as he will shift his focus in pursuing a coaching career. He also emphasized his managerial career to begin in and around Qatar.
“It’s almost 100 percent that this season will be my last season, and I’m preparing as a coach,” he said. “I have to take my (coaching) license in Madrid in April, but I would like to start from here. I think it’s the best country to prepare myself as a coach.”
The 38-year old has been an important figure in promoting the 2022 World Cup there in Qatar, as he has been working as a global ambassador for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the organization that looks after the infrastructural work for the first World Cup ever to take place in an Arab country.
There have been speculations suggesting that the former Barcelona man will be involved in coaching the Qatar national team for the World Cup in 2022, but as of now, Xavi has remained tight-lipped.
“I don’t know, but it’s very early to say something,” he said.
“Now, I’m very excited as an ambassador of SC and to help them prepare everything. I think they’re ready.”
It will be a new chapter for the man from Barcelona as after collecting several accolades in his playing career he hopes to take all the experience and learnings to the managerial aspect of the game.