The 2021/22 season hasn’t been easy for the Paris Saint-Germain superstar, but there’s no getting away from the fact that he’s had an incredible year overall.
Messi was electric for Barcelona in his final months at the club and the 34-year-old was also the main reason why Argentina won the Copa America in the summer.
If the rumours prove to be true and the little maestro holds the coveted golden ball trophy aloft next Monday, he’ll have two more Ballon d’Or victories to his name than eternal rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
And the Manchester United superstar is running out of time to match Messi, as he’ll be 37 years of age in February.
It would be something of a minor miracle if Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or two more times and that means he’s almost certain to miss out on his one footballing ‘ambition’ before retirement.
Pascal Ferre, the editor-in-chief of France Football (the publication that hands out the Ballon d’Or), has revealed how desperate Ronaldo is to outdo Messi before calling time on his incredible career.
Ronaldo desperate to beat Messi
“Ronaldo has only one ambition and that is to retire with more Ballon d’Or [awards] than Messi,” Ferre told the New York Times, per Marca.
“I know because he has told me.”
Good luck with that, Cristiano…
Ronaldo’s last triumph came back in 2017 and unless he leads Portugal to 2022 World Cup glory – a tournament they still haven’t qualified for – it’s difficult to envisage him repeating the feat again, despite the fact he’s still one of the world’s best footballers.
Ferre went on to claim that the identity of the Ballon d’Or winners each year is one of world football’s best-kept secrets and that he’s yet to make a mistake in that regard.
“This is my sixth year in charge of the event,” Ferre added. “I have not made a mistake yet.
“I don’t want to lie [to those asking who the winner is]. But I tell them that I can’t share their name because the winners do not know yet, and it would not be right for them not to be the first to find out.”