Cristiano Ronaldo was the overwhelming favourite to win a record-equalling fifth Ballon d’Or award back in the summer after Real Madrid won both La Liga and the Champions League.
But with just days to go before this year’s winner is announced, things are (slightly) less certain.
Ronaldo is now 1/8 on with most bookmakers - he was priced as short as 1/33 in the summer - to win club football’s most prestigious individual accolade. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who is hoping to win the award for a record-breaking sixth time, is currently priced at 9/2.
However, there’s no denying that Messi has been significantly better than Ronaldo in the second half of 2017.
You could even argue that he’s been more impressive than the Portuguese superstar, at least on an individual level, throughout the entire course of 2017.
Ronaldo has scored just two goals in 10 La Liga appearances so far this season. Messi, on the other hand, has netted 13 league goals in 14 matches.
Messi has scored 17 goals in all competitions this season, six more than Ronaldo.
But it’s not just goalscoring where Messi has been, on the whole, more impressive than Ronaldo.
Video of Messi dropping opponents throughout 2017
The Argentine forward has been consistently excellent in all departments for Barça over the past 12 months - whereas Ronaldo, who turns 33 in February, has flattered to deceive in many matches - and a superb video has emerged of the former dropping a host of opponents throughout 2017.
Watch the brilliant video here…
This guy *is* football in its purest form.
As if we didn’t know it already, Messi is capable of making any footballer on the planet look ridiculous.
If Messi does win... it won't be an undeserved triumph
The winner of the 2017 Ballon d’Or will be announced on Thursday evening and it should - should - be Ronaldo who wins it.
But will the Portuguese forward’s disappointing performances from the 2017-18 end up costing him?
One thing’s for sure: if Messi is announced as the shock winner later this week, it won’t be an undeserved triumph, despite what some football fans might have you believe.