What's the story?
Former Real Madrid and Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has expressed his surprise at rumours of Barcelona star Lionel Messi's absence from the Ballon d'Or top three, stating that the award loses its value if the Argentine ace is not included.
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In case you didn't know...
The much-awaited Ballon d'Or ceremony is just a few days away, leaving fan debates surrounding the winner more heated than ever before.
Since France Football released their thirty-man shortlist for the award, speculation around both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's snub from the top three spots have been rife, with RFI journalist Eric Mamruth claiming that the top three spots will instead be filled by Luka Modric, Raphael Varane and Kylian Mbappe.
The heart of the matter
Former Los Blancos boss Vicente del Bosque has expressed his surprise at the reports, questioning the value of the award itself in the absence of Lionel Messi.
Speaking to Marca, del Bosque said, "I am very surprised that Messi isn't there."
"I think it [the award] loses all value if he is not leading the best players in the world."
"It is, at the very least, a little strange."
The former Spain manager also expressed delight at how open La Liga is at the moment: "It's good that Sevilla are the leaders and that LaLiga is equal because it means other teams have more possibilities."
"Atletico, Real and Barcelona are in a hurry, but football must be a more open competition."
Whether or not Messi and Ronaldo will be included in the top three remains to be seen. The award ceremony will be held on December 3 at the French capital.
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