5 matches that prove Lionel Messi should win the Ballon d'Or 2017
These performances should help Messi beat Ronaldo to the Ballon d'Or title
The Ballon d'Or 2017 will be awarded by "France Football" on 7 December, 2017 and is given annually to the best footballer of the year since 1956. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have maintained their duopoly on the award over the past decade having won the prestigious prize 5 and 4 times respectively and the top two names are expected to be all too familiar this year as well.
Though Ronaldo has had a better year with Real Madrid, winning La Liga as well as the Champions League, Messi has been magnificent at the individual level, dazzling everyone with his performances day in and day out. Messi has scored 52 goals and has provided 14 assists in 60 appearances this year, an outrageous return even by his lofty standards.
Messi has performed consistently well over the past 12 months, giving extraordinary performances game after game, but here we take a look at his top 5 performances this year that should help him beat Ronaldo to win his 6th Ballon d'Or title.
#5 Barcelona vs Celta Vigo, La Liga 16/17
Barcelona and Real Madrid were going toe to toe in the La Liga title race last season and Barcelona could not afford any slip up against a tricky opposition which had been a headache for them several times in the past. But Messi ensured there weren't any hiccups, producing one of the finest performances of the season.
Lionel Messi opened the scoring for Barcelona in the 24th minute, controlling the ball beautifully off the chest in the middle of the park before embarking on a marvellous run and finishing a solo effort past diving Sergio Alvarez.
He then turned the provider with 2 assists as he split Celta Vigo's defence with a wonderful ball for Neymar and an inch perfect ball for Samuel Umtiti either side of Rakitic's goal. He finished off the night scoring Barcelona's fifth and his second with a superb run before cutting past two defenders and placing the ball in the bottom right.
Lionel Messi was heavily involved throughout the game and had 4 key passes, completed 5 dribbles, had an 80% pass accuracy and 79 touches to go with his 2 goals and 2 assists in a majestic display helping Barcelona maintain pressure on their fierce rivals.