The Case for Lionel Messi
With the 2018 Ballon d'Or just under three weeks away, I will be giving my opinion on the final candidate, Lionel Messi. As I mentioned in my last two blogs, Messi is tied for most Ballon d'Or wins with five, tied only with the man I talked about last week, Cristiano Ronaldo. Many people expect these two men to come first and second in the voting, making this year the tie-breaker.
Why Messi should win...
Lionel Messi has been the king of Spain ever since he arrived at Barcelona in 2004. The 31-year-old attacker has already broken almost every Barcelona and La Liga record imaginable. He has scored 601 goals for the Catalan side, over 300 more than the second placed Cesar Alvarez. He also has the most goals in La Liga history with 392.
Messi lead Barcelona to the La Liga title for the ninth time, while also capturing his sixth Copa Del Rey. He led the league in scoring once again with 34 goals, while also tying for most assists in the league with 12. Messi won his 5th European Golden Shoe (most goals scored in a season in all of Europe). If there is one thing Messi is for sure better at than Ronaldo, it would be winning La Liga titles.
Check out his stats here
Why Messi shouldn't win...
While he does perform extremely well in Spain, Messi has struggled when it comes to the big stage in Europe. Barcelona blew a 4-1 lead to AS Roma in the Champions League quarterfinals during the second leg. It would be one thing if Roma was the more talented team, but that was not the case, as the Italian club finished nearly 20 points off from 1st place in the Serie A last season.
Messi provided six goals and two assists in the competition, but compared to Ronaldo's 15 goals and three assists, it just isn't enough to earn the Ballon d'Or in my opinion. I predict Cristiano Ronaldo to take home the trophy this year, becoming the first player in history to win the award six times.
The Ballon d'Or award ceremony will take place in Paris, France on December 3rd.