Jose Mourinho questioned whether Lionel Messi deserves this year’s Ballon d’Or award after Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League following their capitulation against Liverpool earlier this month.
The Portuguese coach had described Messi as the “God of football” after his masterclass in the first leg at Camp Nou, but the Argentine forward was unable to prevent his side slumping to a humiliating Champions League exit at Anfield.
The shock defeat in Merseyside hurt Messi deeply. He’d made it his mission at the start of the season to help Barça win their first European Cup since 2015 after Real Madrid won the tournament three years on the bounce.
The Catalan giants would have gone into next month’s final as the overwhelming favourites to beat Tottenham.
But it’s Jurgen Klopp’s side who now have the opportunity to win European club football’s most prestigious trophy.
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To his credit, though, Messi has picked himself back off the floor and knuckled down during these final matches of the season.
He helped Barça, who had already been crowned La Liga champions, beat Getafe 2-0 last weekend.
And on Sunday, he netted two goals in two first-half minutes away at Eibar, to take his tally to 50 for the season.
Here’s his equalising goal…
And this was his second goal of the afternoon…
Remarkably, this is the sixth time in Messi’s career that he’s scored 50 more goals in a single season.
As well as his 50 goals, Messi has also provided 20 assists this season - meaning he’s been involved in 70 Barcelona goals.
Furthermore, the 31-year-old now has 36 La Liga goals for the campaign - the fifth time in his career he’s scored 35 goals or more in a season in Spain’s top division.
Messi is poised to win Europe’s Golden Shoe award for what will be the sixth time in his career.
He now sits five goals clear of Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, who has one more game left to play this season.
Lionel - we are not worthy!
But despite Messi's best efforts, Barcelona could only draw their final league game of the season 2-2.
Pablo de Blasis levelled the scores with this absolute worldie.News Now - Sport News