Lionel Messi has insisted that teammate Luis Suarez deserved to be nominated for the Ballon d'Or final three, but has admitted that rival Cristiano Ronaldo 'also did well'.
As reported by the Mirror, Messi, who will take his place on the podium alongside Ronaldo and Neymar, has suggested that Uruguayan international Suarez deserved to be recognised for his achievements throughout the course of the year.
Messi stated: "I'd have liked to be on [the] Ballon d'Or podium with Neymar and Luis. Luis deserved it, but Cristiano also did well. We'll have a good time."
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Suarez has enjoyed a prominent year for Barcelona, helping the Catalans to secure the treble under the guidance of Luis Enrique.
And, while Messi was hoping to share the podium with his world-class teammates, he will once again take centre stage alongside Ronaldo.
The final battle
But who will win this year's award? Ronaldo, of course, will be hoping to secure his third Ballon d'Or award in a row, but he may well miss out on the prize on this occasion.
After acting as Barcelona's talisman last season, Messi is understandably the favourite to secure the honour. A scorer of 43 goals in 38 league appearances in 2014/15 may not have surpassed Ronaldo, but the Argentine ace also played a huge role in his side's Champions League success.
Neymar's time will come, but the captain of Brazil will have to keep progressing in pursuit of catching Ronaldo and Messi. Suarez, on the other hand, was unlucky to miss out, but you can hardly argue with the three names set to take to the podium.
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