Spanish press claim Lionel Messi is set for a record sixth Ballon d'Or

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*Spoilers ahead*

We're officially supposed to wait until December 2 to find out who has won Ballon d'Or 2019. 

Will Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo pick up a record sixth Golden Ball, or will France Football once again opt for an alternative in Virgil van Dijk? 

This time next week, the football world will know the answer. In the meantime, there has been plenty of speculation. 

Of course, the decision is made quite some time before the ceremony and it's even claimed that the winner has been notified in the past few days. 

The secret votes of 182 journalists were totalled on November 9. 

Although that information is embargoed, Mundo Deportivo believe they already have the answer to the annual question. 

The Spanish newspaper claim 'all the indications' are that Messi will almost certainly eclipse Ronaldo and be honoured with a sixth accolade to confirm the Barcelona forward as the best in the world.

Journalists are asked to consider both their individual and team performances, talent, fair play, and their international careers. 

The one major count against Messi is that Barcelona once again fell at the semi-final hurdle of the Champions League, but he was still the competition's highest goalscorer last season with 12 and put in some phenomenal performances. 

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Argentina also only made it to the last four of the Copa America. When it comes to internationals, it's there that Ronaldo stakes his claim as a UEFA Nations League winner, though it looks as though Portugal's triumph won't prove decisive. 

Messi has scored 45 goals so far this calendar year and has seven games left to reach his half-century.

Fans have also been quick to spot a video the 32-year-old posted on Instagram to advertise documentary 'Becoming Leo Messi'.

It begins with him gazing upon his five Ballon d'Ors and ends with a photo of him kissing the trophy at a previous awards night. 

Perhaps it's an innocuous piece of advertising, or it could be something more cryptic. We'll find out on December 2. 

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