Lionel Messi has revealed that he hopes to share the next Ballon d'Or podium with Barcelona teammates Luis Suarez and Neymar.
As reported by the Mirror, Messi, who was speaking after the Catalans demolished Italian counterparts AS Roma by six goals to one last night, suggested that he believes Suarez and Neymar deserve a place alongside him at next year's ceremony in Zurich.
Unsurprisingly, after leading Barcelona to a remarkable treble last season, Messi is the standout favourite to add to his three Ballon d'Or successes.
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While Neymar and Suarez are in contention, current holder Cristiano Ronaldo is recognised by many as Messi's greatest rival for the award. However, the Argentine international isn't hoping to see his Portuguese counterpart take to the podium on this occasion.
"I hope the podium can be Luis Suarez, Neymar and I," Messi said.
"We're doing things well, but there's a long time to go.
"There are some important things coming up like the Club World Cup, and I hope we can maintain this level."
Let's be honest, it's highly unlikely that Ronaldo won't make the podium in January of next year. The Real Madrid superstar may well struggle to retain his crown, but he has still enjoyed another fruitful year in Spain; 48 goals in 35 La Liga appearances last season demonstrates that.
Messi, on the other hand, managed to score 43 goals in 38 La Liga games last term, but his success in all competitions could sway things his way. Acting as the club's talisman, the world-class Argentine was instrumental in helping Barcelona secure success on both the domestic and European scene.
Neymar and Suarez are certainly closing the gap, especially this season, but they're still not quite at the same level as Ronaldo and Messi.
Who do you expect to take to the podium in January? Have your say below!
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