The winner of the 2019 Ballon d’Or award will be crowned on Monday, December 2, and there are no prizes for guessing who Gary Lineker believes should win it.
The BT Sport presenter has been effusive in his praise of Lionel Messi, regularly reacting to a Messi goal or assist on Twitter with a message of delight.
“Here is the Messi goat….sorry goal,” Lineker wrote as he shared a video of the Argentinian’s goal for Barcelona in their win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
Lineker may just be Messi’s number one fan.
And during an exclusive interview with GIVEMESPORT, the former England striker shared his thoughts on Messi’s Ballon d’Or hopes - and ultimately why the award doesn’t matter that much.
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In Lineker’s opinion, the Ballon d’Or isn’t given to the best player every year - or else Messi would win it every single year.
In previous years, the award has gone to a player who has won the Champions League in the same calendar year. That’s been the case for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2016 and 2017 and Luka Modric in 2018.
But in Lineker’s view, nobody stands above the Barcelona star and the award has lost some value as a result of it not always going to the very best player.
“Being voted best player of the year has become ridiculously over-important. It’s just got silly,” Lineker says.
“Because the truth is if it’s the best player of each year, he’d win it every year.
“But it’s generally who’s the best player of the club that wins the Champions League, which whilst is important you’ve got to remember that football’s a team game.
“But Messi’s performances last season, prior to the very end of the season where I thought Barcelona started to look a bit tired and a bit old, were unbelievable.
“His numbers were incredible, so we’ll see who wins it but I don’t know why people give it such importance.”
Lineker will be pleased to hear that reports claim Messi is going to win a sixth Ballon d’Or at Monday’s ceremony.
If they prove to be true, he will stand alone with one more award than Cristiano Ronaldo.
And in Lineker's eyes, justice will be served.
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