5 reasons why Lionel Messi deserved the 2017 Ballon d'Or over Cristiano Ronaldo
It's that time of the year again - when football takes a backseat and the perennial argument over which of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo was the better player of the year takes place.
There was a Ballon d'Or to win after all, and with Ronaldo having gone level with Messi's 5 Ballons d'Or, plenty of ink has been spilt about the Portuguese star's talents.
However, Lionel Messi has arguably been the better of the pair, and here are 5 reasons why:
#1 More goals
Lionel Messi has made plenty of adaptations to his game in 2017 - to accommodate for Andres Iniesta's decline and coupled with Barcelona's awful transfer strategy in 2016, the Argentine has dropped deep - playing most of Barcelona's games from midfield.
Halfway through the year, Messi lost the teammate who provided him with most of his goals (Neymar) and then had to deal with Luis Suarez suffering his worst dip in form - coupled with dealing with the vastly different instructions of 4 different managers for club and country.
All of that and Leo Messi has outscored Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017.
The Argentine wizard has scored 52 goals in 2017, while Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 48 goals. However, it is important to note that 11 of Ronaldo's 48 calendar goals have come in 11 appearances for Portugal, while Messi has scored 4 goals in 7 appearances for a woeful Argentina.
Quite simply, when Leo Messi has outscored his nemesis in a year when Ronaldo played far more centrally and when the Argentinian himself has played from a deep midfield position, who else deserves the Ballon d'Or?