Cristiano Ronaldo may have received his fifth Ballon d’Or earlier this month but that hasn’t convinced Lionel Messi’s supporters that the Real Madrid forward is on the same level as the Argentinian.
It’s been another superb year for Messi, who has Harry Kane to blame for preventing him from becoming the highest scorer in 2017.
The 30-year-old netted 54 goals in the calendar year for both club and country.
For any other player, that’s an incredible return. For Messi, it was business as usual.
The most memorable moment came not in a Barcelona kit but in the blue and white stripes of Argentina, where Messi single-handedly fired the La Albiceleste to next year’s World Cup in Russia with a hat-trick against Ecuador in their final qualifier.
Yet it will be some time before Barcelona supporters forget about Messi’s performance in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Real Madrid in El Clasico.
One goal, one assist, three points. It was a perfect way to end 2017.
Watch: Messi's 54 goals in 2017
For anyone who enjoys watching beautiful football, a video of Messi’s 54 goals in the calendar year is just for you.
Sit back and enjoy his brilliance.
This year has done little to settle the debate between Messi and Ronaldo, whose Ballon d’Or hopes were boosted when he helped Los Blancos win La Liga and the Champions League.
But in the eyes of Chelsea winger Eden Hazard, it’s Messi all the way.
"Of course, when you are playing football you want to play against the best,” Hazard, who will face Messi in the Champions League round-of-16 next year, said.
“The best team, the best players in the world. Messi is the best player in the world."
Ronaldo believes he's #1
Fernando Torres and Rivaldo have also given the Barcelona man their backing recently, not that Ronaldo will care about what they say.
This is a man who anointed himself the best player in history after he collected his latest Ballon d’Or.
“I don’t see anyone better than me,” Ronaldo told France Football.
“No player does things that I cannot do myself, but I see things others can’t do.
“There’s no more complete player than me. I’m the best player in history — in the good and the bad moments.”
If you say so, Ronnie. If you say so.
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