Lionel Messi news: Barcelona star calls Ballon d'Or a 'lie' due to Messi snub
What's the story?
Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba feels teammate Lionel Messi's fifth-place finish in the Ballon d'Or rankings underlines the fact that the award is a lie. Alba confidently claimed that the Argentine is still the best player around, after he inspired the Catalan giants to a massive 4-0 victory over Espanyol.
In case you didn't know...
For the first time since 2007, Messi fell outside the top two spots as Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, all finished ahead of him. Modric claimed the award, thereby ending the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly.
Messi, meanwhile, is on 11 goals from 13 LaLiga matches and is now the first player to break into double figures in a league season for the 13th year in a row.
The heart of the matter
Messi smashed in 45 goals and created 18 more in just 54 appearances last season. He was the best player for a side that only lost one league game and finished the season on 93 points, 14 ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Despite the 31-year-old's heroics, he ended up fifth on the best players' list. Alba expressed his disgust over the snub and stated:
"The Ballon d'Or is a lie, there are many club and press campaigns [surrounding it]. Everyone knows that Messi is the best player in the world by far."
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde also labeled the award 'absurd', remarking:
"I'm not going to get into that, whether it's right or wrong how an award ended up. I think the people who voted for it have to answer that. Everyone has their own opinion. To us it's absurd."
Not much can be done about the Ballon d'Or results now, but no footballing household in the world is unaware of Lionel Messi's prowess. The little magician and his Barcelona side, meanwhile, host Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday evening, before travelling to Levante next weekend.