Soccer-Messi worthy of seventh Ballon d'Or victory, says Xavi


Soccer Football - The Ballon d'Or Awards - Theatre du Chatelet, Paris, France - November 29, 2021 Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi with the Ballon d'Or award REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

(Reuters) - Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez said former team mate Lionel Messi deserved his Ballon d'Or win, describing the Argentine's record-extending seventh victory as "total justice".

Paris St Germain forward Messi, 34, beat Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea's Jorginho to lift the prestigious award after winning the Copa America for the first time with Argentina in July.

"I think it's football justice. He is the best footballer in the world, and the best of all time. And he deserves this seventh award. No doubt about it," Xavi said.

"We may think that maybe Lewandowski also deserved it, or other players, but this is the same debate every year... The moment they open the envelope and they say Messi won it, then it's fair."

Barcelona, seventh in LaLiga with 23 points, host fifth-placed Real Betis on Saturday.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)

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