‘I Think He Deserves Ballon d’Or’- Khabib Nurmagomedov Names His Pick for the Prestigious Football Award and It’s Not Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo

Published 01/10/2022, 12:28 AM EST
MOSCOW, RUSSIA SEPTEMBER 2, 2021: Mixed martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov speaks at the 2nd New Knowledge educational marathon (forum). The New Knowledge Forum runs from 1 to 3 September 2021 as a new school year begins in Russia. Artyom Geodakyan/TASS (Photo by Artyom GeodakyanTASS via Getty Images)


Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov spoke prior to one of Football’s most prolific awards ceremonies, the Ballon d’Or award show. ‘The Eagle’ chimed in on his pick for the award and he disagreed with the final pick that ended up being Lionel Messi. The Argentine forward picked up his seventh Ballon d’Or award and is a leader in that regard.

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Messi now holds more Ballon d’Or wins than his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has clinched the award five times. However, according to Khabib Nurmagomedov, there were two other players more deserving of the award. Nurmagomedov revealed that either Robert Lewandowski or Karim Benzema should have won the annual football award that is presented by the French news magazine, France Football.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA AUGUST 18, 2021: Russian mixed martial artist and UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov gives a news conference. Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS (Photo by Anton NovoderezhkinTASS via Getty Images)

“I would give it to Lewandowski or Benzema. One of them. Lewandowski,” Nurmagomedov said. “I think. Last three years, he is the best football player.

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While Nurmagomedov mentioned two possible candidates who should have won the prestigious, he was clearly leaning towards a particular player. According to the Russian mauler, Robert Lewandowski was head and shoulders above his competition. The consistent run that Lewandowski has been on over the last two years inspired Nurmagomedov to select him as the rightful Ballon d’Or winner.

Soccer Football – The Ballon d’Or Awards – Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, France – November 29, 2021 Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski with the Striker of the Year Trophy REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

“We can just look at his results. What he does. He has won the champions league. He has scored more than 120 goals last two years. For the national team and club.”

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“It is an amazing result. For the entire football history, I cannot remember, we can name a pair of players who scored 120 goals over two years. He has 65 goals this year. It is too much. For football, I think it is too much. I think he deserves Ballon d’Or.” [h/t mirror.co.uk]

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The 33-year-old in Lewandowski has incredible statistics across the board and his domination of the German club circuit is legendary. He leads several scoring categories in the Bundesliga and has been a pivotal part of the Polish national team. It remains to be seen if the Champions League winner will have better luck this year come award season.

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Darryl Pinto

2133 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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