3 reasons why Lionel Messi could miss out on the 2019 Ballon d'Or podium
With five Ballon d'Or wins, Lionel Messi is the joint-most decorated player in the history of football's most prestigious award, tied on that number with his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Having become the first player in history to win four consecutive Ballon d'Ors between 2009 and 2012, the Argentine maestro has hit something of a rough patch since then, with his triumph in 2015 being all he can boast of in the last five years.
The 2018/2019 season was a bittersweet one for Messi, as despite winning La Liga and extending his record-breaking European Golden Shoe wins to six, there was still disappointment in the one trophy he set out to win as Barcelona were unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League by Liverpool, while his international trophy drought also continued as Argentina faltered in the Copa America.
Last year saw Messi suffer the ignominy of being left off the top three in the Ballon d'Or final standing, having made it to the top two in each of the preceding ten years and this is a scenario which might play out again this year.
While it might seem a tad preposterous to suggest that Lionel Messi should not make it into the top three of the 2019 Ballon d'Or voting, there are some factors which makes this viewpoint hold water.
In this piece, we shall be highlighting the reasons why Lionel Messi could potentially not make it to the podium of the 2019 Ballon d'Or.
#3 His humiliating elimination from the Champions League
It is well known that Barcelona have not won the Champions League since defeating Juventus 3-1 in Berlin in 2015 an at the start of last season, in his first speech as Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi stated that it was his mission to being Europe's premier club competition back to Camp Nou.
He started well enough, scoring six goals from just four group stage matches to help the Catalans top their group with ease.
Further inspiration followed in the knockout rounds followed as Barcelona dismantled first Lyon and then Manchester United, with Lionel Messi scoring a brace in both rounds to set up a semifinal fixture with Liverpool.
Another brace (one of which was voted the Champions League goal of the tournament) followed as Barcelona tore Liverpool apart with a 3-0 scoreline at Camp Nou to all but guarantee their spot in the final.
However, on an atmospheric night at Anfield, The Reds produce one of the all-time great Champions League displays to overturn the deficit before going on to defeat Tottenham in the final at Madrid.
Though Lionel Messi still led the charts in terms of goals scored with 12, the fact that he was quite unable to guide Barcelona all the way as promised is a major blot on his performance and serves as a detractor in his Ballon d'Or bid.