Satisfaction in Spain at fifth Ballon d'Or for Messi
MADRIDJan 13, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Jan 13, 2016 12:00 am
The reaction in Spain to Lionel Messi winning his fifth Ballon d'Or award Monday was generally one of satisfaction and pride rather than of surprise
Spain reacted to Barcelona idol Lionel Messi being named world player of the year with satisfaction and pride rather than surprise. The impish Argentinian claimed the prestigious Ballon d'Or trophy for a record fifth time, finishing well ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid - who won it in 2013 and 2014 - and also Barca team-mate Neymar.
"This award is no surprise at all," commented Radio Marca.
"Messi won every single trophy going in 2015, except the Copa America and the Spanish Super Cup, whereas Ronaldo won nothing at all with Real."
Meanwhile, rival radio station Cadena SER commented: "Ronaldo is a wonderful player, without a doubt. But Messi is very special indeed, possibly the best of all time."
Catalan radio RAC1 said. "Justice has been done with Messi, he is clearly the best in the world."
However, it then suggested that Neymar should have come in second place rather than Ronaldo.
"Neymar enjoyed an excellent 2015, helping Barca to win five trophies, and helping Messi to be the best, whereas Ronaldo won absolutely nothing," said RAC 1.
A similar opinion was expressed by Barca right-back Dani Alves, who has been very critical of Ronaldo's behavior and attitude in recent years. According to media reports, Ronaldo refused to shake Alves's hand at the ceremony because of his criticism.
Meanwhile, Catalan television channel TV3 consoled itself with the thought that "Neymar will soon take over from Messi as the best in the world - he is clearly the sorcerer's apprentice."
TV3 predicted that the top three players in 2016 would be Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, "the third pillar in Barcelona's exceptional forward line."
TV3 also expressed satisfaction with Barca boss Luis Enrique being named best coach of the year.
"Exactly a year ago," TV3 recalled, "Luis Enrique was about to be sacked after a blazing dressing-room row with Messi... He had the maturity to turn the situation around and bury the hatchet."
Meanwhile, Madrid radio Cadena COPE took pride from the fact that the top three players all ply their trade in La Liga - and from the statistic that players based in Spain have won the award 15 times in the last 17 years.
"This shows that the Spanish league still has the top players, even if it is not the country with the highest attendances and the highest television revenue."
The website of AS struck a similar note, saying. "World football continues to speak Spanish." Messi's award was front-page news in practically every Spanish newspaper Tuesday, with many papers hailing him as the greatest player of all time.