4 Reasons why Lionel Messi might not win the Ballon d'Or award this year
It's been a very interesting year for football lovers all over the world with plenty of competitions across club and international levels. Having given their all representing their respective clubs and countries, now is time of the year when the top performing players earn recognition for their exploits.
We recently watched as Barcelona maestro Lionel Messi became the Player of the Year at the Best FIFA Football Awards. The playmaker edged out his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Dutch powerhouse, Virgil Van Dijk to come out on top.
Following that triumph, many expect the Argentine to add the Ballon d'Or as well to his cabinet in December. However, here are a few reasons why he could end up missing out on the prize.
#4 Champions League failure
Last season started on a promising note for Lionel Messi and Barcelona as they kicked off the campaign in style with victory after victory and rode on a wave of momentum for a large part of the campaign. There was optmism at the Nou Camp as the Blaugrana progressed steadily in their quest for a treble
Barcelona's priority for the campaign was to win the UEFA Champions League. After making it into the semi-finals for the first time since they won it in 2015, the Catalans believed this was the season they'd return to the summit of European football.
A 3-0 win over Liverpool in the first leg raised the optimism further. However, Ernesto Valverde's charges were beaten on the night and in the tie in spectacular fashion whey they visited Anfield and succumbed to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of The Reds. It was another year of European misery for Messi.
Everyone knows how much relevance the UEFA Champions League holds in the race for the Ballon d'Or. The Argentine's failure in the competition could end up being his achiles heel this year - especially given that some of his top rivals triumphed in the tournament.