Lionel Messi news: 'Messi already deserves 2019 Ballon d'Or,' says Rivaldo
What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
Messi missed out on the Ballon d'Or last year, after a decade of dominance over the coveted prize alongside longstanding rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 31-year-old finished in fifth place on the standings, behind Paris Saint-Germain youngster Kylian Mbappe. Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric took home the gong for his role in Croatia's journey to the FIFA World Cup final in Russia and his contribution to Los Blancos' third consecutive Champions League win.
This season, Messi has hit a purple patch for Barcelona, having scored 45 goals for the club in all competitions. His goal-scoring exploits have helped the Catalan giants to the summit of La Liga and the semi-finals of the Champions League, besides the Copa del Rey final.
The heart of the matter
Former Barcelona attacker Rivaldo has now expressed his desire to see Messi win the World Cup with Argentina, a feat that has eluded the Barcelona star for years. Speaking to Goal, the former Blaugrana star said, "It's impossible to describe Messi. I like him so much and I always say I feel so sad because he never won the World Cup with Argentina. It is an award he deserves because a world-class player like him must be a world champion."
He added that the Argentine deserves the Ballon d'Or for his incredible list of achievements. "He has been scoring goals, giving assists and being the top scorer in La Liga for a long time and I think what he has been doing in the Champions League means his merits should be recognised."
"He had a chance to score a bicycle kick [versus Man Utd] but it's not an easy one to take because you don't get those chances often in games. It was a good effort but it didn't quite come off."
"Even if he doesn't win the Champions League, however, he already deserves the Ballon d'Or."
Messi's Barcelona are next scheduled to face Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday night.