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Sepp Blatter Slates Barcelona Star Lionel Messi Ahead Of Ballon d’Or Voting

Barcelona star Lionel Messi is among the contenders for the Ballon d’Or…

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has claimed that Lionel Messi did not deserve the World Cup Golden Ball award he received earlier this year, given to him for being the best player at the tournament.

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Reports on Goal.com carry quotes from the Swiss football chief, who said it was “incorrect” to give the Argentina forward the award in retrospect, despite his goalscoring heroics in group stage.

There was derision among fans when Messi won the award in July, despite his team losing the final. Blatter, who has said in the past that he thought Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had earned the accolade, slammed the award process only a few hours after Messi was named among the 23-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.

“I think the decision to give Messi the Golden Ball was incorrect,” he told reporters at a press event in Moscow, Russia, as he inspected preparations for the next World Cup. “I was surprised when I received the committee’s decision. They told me they had only looked at 10 of the players who took part in the final.”

As the source adds, Messi has won the Ballon d’Or four times in his career, although in the past 18 months his stock has fallen somewhat, despite still being considered one of the greatest players in the world.

A silverware-free season in 2013-14 with Barcelona – aside from the Supercopa, which came longer than 12 months ago – and a failure to skipper Argentina to World Cup glory makes a Ballon d’Or 2014 victory unlikely, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Arjen Robben and Neuer among the more favoured.

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