LIONEL MESSI'S dad has hit back at those who claim his son did not deserve to win the 2021 Ballon d'Or.
The 34-year-old Argentine claimed the award for a record-extending SEVENTH time on Monday night following his Copa America glory with the national team in the summer and another stellar individual season for Barcelona.
Messi netted 38 times in 44 games for the Catalan giants and then led the Argentina national team to their first major trophy in 28 years.
But some felt the iconic footballer did not deserve the award and that it should have gone to Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski instead.
The Polish talisman missed out on the 2020 award after the coronavirus pandemic led to the ceremony being cancelled.
He was hoping to secure it in 2021 following a sensational season saw him net 48 goals in 40 games.
But he was forced to settle for second place behind Messi and ahead of Jorginho, Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante.
The likes of Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo came out against awarding Messi the gong.
To which the Argentine's dad Jorge Messi responded with an Instagram picture of his son holding the Ballon d'Or alongside a caption which translated as: "Bla, bla, bla…continue."
Germany and Real Madrid midfielder Kroos was adamant his teammate Benzema, who finished fourth, should have taken home the award.
He said: "For me, if they were really looking for the best player of the year, Benzema should have been number one because I see up close how exceptional he is.
"There is no doubt that Messi is alongside Cristiano Ronaldo as player of the decade and has qualities that others will never have.
"What fails in the election is, above all, the first place."
And ex-Real keeper Casillas spoke on Twitter, adding: "It is increasingly difficult for me to believe in this football award.
"For me, Messi, he is one of the five best players in all of history, but you have to begin to know how to catalogue who are the most prominent at the end of a season.
"It's not that hard, damn it! Others make it difficult!"
Meanwhile, Ronaldo liked a post that said Messi had stolen the award.
But Messi was in agreement with those who felt he should not have won the award, telling Lewandowski he at least deserves the accolade from 2020.
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In his acceptance speech, Messi said: "I would like to mention Robert Lewandowski, it’s been a real honour to compete with you.
“Everyone knows and we agree that you were the winner last year.
“I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or – you deserve it and you should have it at home."
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