#3 Lionel Messi could guide Argentina to Copa America triumph
Argentina have been one of the best sides in the Copa America 2021 so far. They qualified for the knockout stages without much hassle and topped Group A. They picked up three wins and a draw from their four group stage games.
Messi has scored three goals for Argentina in the tournament so far. Having finished on top of Group A, Argentina will not need to face South American powerhouse and eternal rivals Brazil unless they meet in the finals.
Lionel Messi and co. will face Ecuador in the quarter-finals. Given the kind of talent Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has at his disposal, this might be La Albiceleste's best chance to go all the way in the tournament with Messi on their side.
If Messi can win the Copa America with Argentina, he'll have won two major trophies this year. That should greatly boost his chances of winning the Ballon d'Or.
#2 Lionel Messi has been in sublime form in 2021
Messi was not at his best in the first half of the season. However, he turned it around by the end of December and was since able to stack up some incredible numbers. He has scored 28 goals and provided eight assists in 29 matches across all competitions for Barcelona this calendar year.
By December, Barcelona had nearly bowed out of the La Liga title race. However, Lionel Messi's upturn in form helped them get their season back on track. If they hadn't bottled it in the final month of the season, Barcelona could have even gone on to win the La Liga title.
Messi also won the Copa Del Rey with Barcelona in 2021. He has scored three goals in four games for Argentina at the Copa America.
#1 Lionel Messi won the La Liga Golden Boot
With 30 goals from 35 appearances, Lionel Messi won the La Liga Golden Boot this past term. Despite being well into his 30s, Messi hasn't lost his sharpness in and around the final third. His finishing continues to be first-rate and was Barcelona's guiding light in the 2020-21 season.
Messi scored 30 goals and finished well clear of second-placed Karim Benzema and Gerard Moreno, who had 23 goals each, in the race for the Golden Boot. In total, Messi scored 38 goals and provided 14 assists in 47 matches across all competitions this past season.