Lionel Messi has indicated he is willing to receive the 2022 Ballon d’Or after the mysterious disappearance of hotly-tipped favourite Karim Benzema on the eve of the prestigious event.
Messi, winner of a record 7 Ballon d’Or awards, was not originally set to make the top three but has selflessly offered his services at the 11th hour.
Benzema’s whereabouts remain a mystery although he was last seen being bundled into a van outside a Paris hotel.
The 34-year-old Real Madrid striker was expected to receive his first Golden Ball, scoring 44 goals in 46 appearances across all competitions, as the Spanish side won a La Liga and Champions League double.
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Real coach Carlo Ancelotti described Benzema as the greatest player he’s worked with since Seamus Coleman during his spell at Everton.
However, with the France international seemingly AWOL, Paris Saint Germain star Messi will reluctantly accept the 8th Ballon d’Or of his illustrious career.
‘It’s never nice to win an award under these circumstances but the show must go on’, Messi told Paddy Power News while hastily putting on a tuxedo.
‘Benzema? I’ve no idea where he could be. I hear Outer Mongolia is nice this time of year’.
‘Please ignore the muffled Gallic-sounding screams coming from the cellar. That’s my new tumble dryer,’ he added.
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister is gearing up for a long night on Instagram with the Manchester United striker a rank outsider for this year’s award.
‘Scoring 24 goals in that sh*te Manchester United side is worth 60 goals in any other team in the world’, Ronaldo’s sister told Paddy Power News while sticking her iPad on charge.
‘I told Cristiano to boycott the awards ceremony in Paris. Too many snakes at that thing. Just me and him from now on’.
*Paddy Power’s breaking news coverage is just complete nonsense, every word of it. Honest.
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