Lionel Messi’s case as the best football player was additionally polished on Monday when he was granted the Ballon d’Or at the France Football grants function in Paris.
The Argentine striker was named football’s player of the year for a record sixth time, breaking a tie with long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo for the most awards won by an individual.
Despite this incredible feat, Messi’s accomplishments and the remarkable level of play for a 32-year-old does not mean that he was necessarily a deserving winner of the Ballon d’Or accolade.
Here are three reasons why he didn’t deserve to win his sixth “Golden Ball” in 2019:
Unable to live up to expectations
Messi merits colossal credit for his job in driving Barcelona to the 2019 La Liga title. He has them on track for a similar outcome this season in the wake of a dazzling, late-game goal in a 1-0 victory over the Atletico Madrid.
However, aside from his team-wide triumphs in La Liga, Messi’s sides neglected to satisfy hopes over the previous year.
Argentina underachieved at all phases of the Copa America, going 1-1-1 in group play while scoring the same number of objectives as it permitted. Messi and organization at that point tumbled to Brazil by the score of 2-0 in the elimination rounds, after which he indignantly blamed the authorities for inclination.
A disheartening Champions League collapse
Following a dominant appearance in the group stages, and the initial two rounds of the knockout stage, Barcelona lost by a total score of 4-3 to Liverpool in the Champions League elimination rounds.
While Messi unquestionably doesn’t bear a lot of duty regarding his team’s breakdown defensively, he’s certainly guilty for Barcelona neglecting to score in Liverpool’s staggering 4-0 triumph in the second leg.
The rise of Liverpool star!
Virgil Van Dijk was the best backline player in football a year ago, and it wasn’t particularly close. The Dutch safeguard’s individual numbers could not hope to compare to those of Messi, yet that is increasingly a result of the players’ fiercely divergent jobs on the pitch than a proof of the last’s predominance.
He has finished second in Ballon d’Or voting, beating out the likes of Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Kylian Mbappe. While that’s an incredible achievement by itself for the defender, Van Dijk’s overall influence on his club and international sides, Liverpool and the Netherlands, was second to none.