This year, the little maestro scored goals for fun to help keep Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona afloat and was also the key man behind Argentina’s Copa America triumph.
But because of his bang average start to life at Paris Saint-Germain, there are many who believe that Messi does not deserve to win football’s most prestigious individual award for a record seventh time.
In his first 10 appearances for the French club, Messi has mustered only four goals and two assists, which is distinctly sub-par by his lofty standards.
However, while the numbers he’s produced at PSG thus far aren’t befitting of a player of his stature, the Argentine has still managed to score some wonder-goals in the French capital.
Messi’s first goal for the Parisian outfit was a sublime effort against Manchester City from outside the box, while his first in Ligue 1 versus Nantes was also scored from distance.
Thanks to those two strikes, the 34-year-old can now boast that he’s found the back of the net from outside the penalty area a whopping 15 times for club and country in 2021.
That’s an outrageous total and one devoted Messi fan has compiled all those splendid long-range strikes into one handy video.
Unsurprisingly, the footage below – that we’re certain you’ll enjoy – has gone viral on social media.
Video: All 15 of Messi’s goals from outside the box in 2021
How is it possible to score that many marvellous goals in less than 12 months?! It boggles the mind, it really does.
Maybe Messi does deserve the Ballon d’Or after all…
Of course, we’re not saying Robert Lewandowski isn’t a worthy winner, but when a player has scored 37% of their goals from outside the box, it’s fairly hard to look past them.
Selecting the best of the 15 goals in the video above is incredibly difficult, although Messi’s thunderbolt for Barcelona at the Parc Des Princes in the Champions League will be the undisputed number one in the eyes of many.
That strike may just be the best from long-range in the South American superstar’s illustrious career, which is saying something.