Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Man City winning team award dubbed ‘biggest scandal in Ballon d’Or history’ in an irate rant

Man City winning team award dubbed ‘biggest scandal in Ballon d’Or history’ in an irate rant

The selection of Manchester City as Club of the Year at the Ballon d’Or award ceremony on Monday has been dubbed one of the event’s biggest scandals.

The defending Premier League champions defeated Real Madrid and Bayern Munich to win the award, which was introduced last year and is given to the team with the most individual Ballon d’Or nominees.

City had seven players named to the shortlists for the men’s and women’s awards, including Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Lucy Bronze, and Ederson.

However, their status as Club of the Year has been called into question by certain sections of the Spanish media, with outspoken journalist Josep Pedrerol going on a rant about it on Monday’s episode of popular football talk show El Chiringuito.

“Man City winning the team of the year is the biggest scandal in the Ballon d’Or,” fumed Pedrerol. “It’s a strong claim, no? A strong claim for them to beat Real Madrid, who had a fantastic team who created history.

“People say the kids want to play like City do. It seems the director of France Football was annoyed with Florentino Perez. Maybe they’re inventing prizes to anger Madrid. Anyway… I’m getting angry.”

City won the Premier League for the second year in a row last season, but were eliminated from the Champions League by Real Madrid, who staged an incredible semi-final comeback before defeating Liverpool in the final.

Toni Kroos, a Los Blancos midfielder, joined Pedrerol in expressing his surprise at the Club of the Year result on Monday, tweeting: “3rd best team in 2021/22 – happy @realmadrid?”

Chelsea were the only previous winners of the Club of the Year award, having won it following their Champions League final victory over City last season.

City have never won a trophy on the biggest European stage in their 142-year history, but with the addition of Erling Haaland to their star-studded lineup, they will be hoping to break their duck at the very next opportunity.

City CEO Ferran Soriano expressed his delight at receiving the award at Monday’s ceremony, which also saw Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema become the Ballon d’Or’s oldest winner since Sir Stanley Matthews in 1956.

“This is a proud day for Manchester City, to be named Club of the Year is an honour and further underlines the strength of this club across both men’s and women’s football,” said Soriano.

“We pride ourselves on playing beautiful football and winning matches. We are proud of the quality of the players and all the staff behind the scenes who help make us successful. This award is recognition of the hard work and dedication found in every department of our organisation.”

Man City winning team award dubbed ‘biggest scandal in Ballon d’Or history’ in an irate rant

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