Vicente del Bosque says Ballon d'Or 'loses all value' without Lionel Messi involved

Vicente del Bosque

The 2018 Ballon d'Or award will be presented in just under a week's time.

It will be the first time in a decade that one of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi won't be the favourite for the accolade, which will be presented in Paris.

Ronaldo collected his fifth award last year, but appears unlikely to retain his crown and move ahead of bitter rival Messi.

Real Madrid's Luka Modric is the favourite with the bookies after his brilliant World Cup with Croatia.

French trio Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane and Kylian Mbappe are next in line after France's World Cup triumph in Russia.

While the aforementioned quartet were brilliant in 2018 - especially internationally - it seems weird that the award won't go to either Ronaldo or Messi, the two best on the planet.

And former Real Madrid and Spain manager Vicente del Bosque is not happy about the award this year, with Messi's absence in particular swaying his opinion.

"I am very surprised that Messi isn't there," Del Bosque said to Marca. "I think it [the award] loses all value if he is not leading the best players in the world.

"It is, at the very least, a little strange."

Messi in action vs PSV

He's made a valid point. Messi was the top goal scorer in Europe last season and was instrumental in Barcelona's double-winning campaign.

While his World Cup with Argentina wasn't too successful, a lot of that was down to those around him and Jorge Sampaoli's odd tactics.

And, unlike the favourite Modric, Messi has started the 2018/19 season on fire.

The Argentine has six Champions League goals in just three games, while notching nine goals and six assists in 11 La Liga fixtures.

Messi celebrates a goal vs Spurs

Ronaldo has also been brilliant throughout 2018, winning the Champions League with Real Madrid and starting life brilliantly with Juventus - he has 10 goals and five assists in 17 games.

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