Since picking up his maiden Ballon d'Or in 2009, Lionel Messi has emerged as a household name in the world of football and is usually one of the first players to be associated with France Football's prestigious individual honour.
The Argentine talisman became the most successful player in the 64-year history of the award after receiving his sixth winner's trophy last December, tallying one more than his eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Despite knockout stage exits from the Copa America and the Champions League last term, he powered his way to the winner's podium solely based on his brilliant performances for Barcelona. The 32-year-old netted 36 goals in La Liga to win the European Golden Shoe and guided the Catalan giants to a consecutive league title at the end of the season.
However, this year the picture is a bit different. We are already halfway through the campaign and though the Blaugrana skipper is only one of the three players across Europe's top five leagues with double-digit goals and assists, he is neither the top goalscorer nor the top assist-provider at the moment.
Last year's finalists Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk are enjoying a great run of form with their clubs, with the Portuguese ace hitting a purple patch with Juventus and the Dutch defender on his way to winning his first Premier League title with Liverpool.
So, if the trends continue, Messi might end up short of making a convincing claim for the Ballon d'Or this December. Having said that, we take a look at four things the Barcelona skipper needs to do in 2020 to retain the honour.
#4 Break Telmo Zarra's record of most Pichichi trophy wins
Messi leads the race for the top scorer's spot in La Liga in yet another campaign, with 14 goals in 19 appearances this term. He has won the revered Pichichi Trophy three seasons in a row and looks set to make it four consecutive seasons, although he has recently experienced a dip in his goalscoring form.
The 32-year-old is currently going through his worst goalscoring drought in the league since January 2014, having gone four matches without finding the back of the net.
Though he has not scored a goal in the last four games, he has been busy laying assists for his teammates in the same period, setting up six of Barca's last seven goals.
The Blaugrana captain also won the European Golden Shoe for a record-sixth time last season, but this time around, he has fallen way behind his counterparts, with current leader Ciro Immobile registering almost double his tally with 25 goals. It might be safe to say that the possibility of him retaining the accolade seems far-fetched at this point but he could still end the campaign as the top scorer in the Spanish top-flight.
The feat of scoring the most goals in La Liga this term will be a milestone achievement for the left-footed forward as it would mean breaking Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra's 67-year-old record of six Pichichi trophies.