Lionel Messi deserves to win the Ballon d’Or 2015 after being the driving force behind Barcelona’s incredible treble-winning season, according to teammate Neymar.
The young Brazilian, who himself has been nothing short of breathtaking over the past 12 months or so for Barca, has revealed how he believes the only candidate that should walk away with football’s most prestigious individual accolade is the world’s most famous Argentinian, who has once again proved how incredible he can be with a ball at his feet.
Neymar on Messi
"For all that he has done, Messi deserves it," Neymar said, according to Goal.
In total Messi bagged 58 goals across all competitions for Barcelona last season, a 17 goal mark-up on his final tally from the year before, and was once again at his superfluous best as the Catalan giants claimed the La Liga title as well as clinching the Copa del Rey - Messi notched an incredible solo goal in the final - and the Champions League.
Given the recent history of the Ballon d’Or one would assume that Messi’s only notable challenger for the award, which is set to be handed out in January of next year, is his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese forward has been crowned champion on the last two occasions, and is now but one shy of matching Messi’s overall haul of four Ballon d’Or crowns.
Real Madrid may not have won anything this year but few can deny that Ronaldo hasn’t once more been another phenomenon. The 30-year-old actually scored more than Messi (61) and finished last season with a personal record in terms of times he found the back of the net, but the feeling can be derived that the Ballon d’Or is now Messi’s to lose from the start of next season until the beginning of 2016.
Of course in any other scenario Neymar himself might be considered to be in with a shot. The 23-year-old appeared far more settled in with regards to Spanish football over the course of the 2014/15 campaign, bagging 39 goals and forming a lethal triumvirate with Messi and Luis Suarez.
Given his obvious ties with Messi it’s to be expected that he would champion him, but don’t be surprised to see Neymar creep into the top three should his performances continue to be impressive in the coming months.
Football fans, do you think Messi can wrap up the Ballon d’Or with a fine Copa America with Argentina? Is he the best player of all time? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.
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