German media fumed at the decision to award Lionel Messi his seventh Ballon d'Or, describing the verdict as a 'scandal' that 'cheated' Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski.
The Polish striker was the runaway favourite to win the prestigious golden ball, awarded by France Football to the best player in the world in a calendar year, in 2020, only for the prize to be cancelled amid the pandemic.
Lewandowski, 33, finished second this time around after scoring 38 goals in 30 league games for Bayern in 2021, in addition to winning the Bundesliga, but it was not enough.
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