'If Messi doesn't deserve the Ballon d'Or, I know nothing about football': Atletico Madrid's Filipe Luis slams award snub
What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
Last year saw Messi finishing outside the Ballon d'Or top three for the first time since 2006, prompting a whole lot of controversy over the authenticity of the award itself.
The decade-long duopoly that was shared between the Argentine and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo was finally broken by Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.
The Los Blancos midfielder had previously won the FIFA Men's Player of the Year and the UEFA Best Player of the Year award for his role in taking his home country to their first ever FIFA World Cup final and winning Real Madrid's third consecutive UEFA Champions League title.
Modric's former teammate Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann finished the top three respectively.
The heart of the matter
Atletico full-back Luis has expressed his disapproval and shock over the fact that Messi did not win a record sixth Ballon d'Or, adding that the Argentine's exploits last year should've won him the award.
Speaking in an interview with Globesporte, the defender said, "When I get on the pitch, my mission is to not let the opponents do anything, be that Messi or any other player."
"But after so many years I see a guy who continues to reinvent himself - he's played out wide and now he plays in the middle."
"Suddenly, I hear that he didn't deserve to win the Ballon d'Or because he had a bad season in 2018?"
"He won LaLiga, he won the Copa del Rey, he was the top scorer in Europe and provided loads of assists."
Luis added that whoever thinks Messi did not deserve the award is not seeing the brilliance that he continually sees in the Argentine: "Whoever thinks Messi doesn't deserve the Ballon d'Or isn't seeing what I'm seeing. Either that or I don't know anything about football."
While Barcelona sit at the top of the LaLiga table with 46 points, Atletico Madrid trail close behind in second place with 41 points.