Football is a team game and stars are only able to truly shine if the collective balance of the side they’re playing for is right.
As a result, there are people who believe that individual awards in the sport - such as the Ballon d’Or - are actually worth very little.
However, there’s no denying the fact that certain teams are reliant on certain players - whether it’s for their goalscoring ability, their leadership, their defensive skills, their goalkeeping prowess, whatever.
Without these star players, the teams in question would be far worse off.
Take Barcelona and Lionel Messi, for example. The Argentine forward is so influential at the Camp Nou that it’s hard to imagine how they’ll cope once he retires.
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Barça are a huge, historic club - but they’ve been extremely reliant on arguably their greatest footballer of all time for so long now. Replacing the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will be impossible and adjusting to life without him will take a long time, you suspect.
To further highlight just how good Messi has been for Barcelona - aside from all of his goals, assists, trophies and everything else - a new live graphic shows the 31-year-old has won more Man of the Match awards than any other top player in European football since the 2010-11 season - and by a considerable distance, too.
With the stats taken from WhoScored.com, YouTuber ‘Internet Reacts’ has gone through the data and put it all into one handy two-minute graphic, which you can view here…
The first thing that stands out is just how far out in front Messi is.
Barça’s legendary No. 10 has been Man of the Match on 225 occasions over the past nine years. Extraordinary.
There was then a battle for second spot between Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eden Hazard.
In the end, Ronaldo finishes reasonably far ahead of the other two forwards with 125 MOTM awards, compared to Hazard’s 93 and Zlatan’s 89.
But what else can we take from the graphic?
Well, it’s interesting that Neymar suddenly emerges on the charts once he leaves Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
The Brazilian was excellent for the Catalan giants but often overshadowed by Messi or Luis Suarez, who also features on the chart.
But Neymar has picked up MOTM awards for fun in Ligue 1 and eventually finishes fifth on the list with 65.
It may also come as a surprise to some to see Gareth Bale with 62 MOTM awards.
The Welshman has endured a difficult season at the Bernabeu and is expected to leave Los Blancos this summer, but he’s still performed well enough to pick up a healthy number on MOTM awards during his time in Spain.News Now - Sport News