'Huge Injustice' if Messi doesn't win the ballon d'Or
Former Barcelona captain Carles Puyol believes five Ballon d'Ors wouldn't do him justice.20:30 Sunday 10 January 2016, 20:30 10 Jan 2016
Former Barcelona and Spain captain Carles Puyol says it will be a 'huge injustice' if Lionel Messi does not win the Ballon d'Or on Monday night.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are in competition with the diminutive Argentine for the 2015 accolade, with Messi hoping to be named the worlds best player for an unprecedented fifth time.
Puyol said "You never know what might happen but it would be a surprise and a huge injustice if Messi doesn't win."
"The best thing about him is that he keeps on improving and building up his numbers. Now he is a more complete player and it seems that there is no limit to what he can do."
Capped 100 times for Spain, the World Cup and European Championship winning defender believe that there will never be a player like Messi again.
"It's very difficult for there to be another player who can win five Ballons d'Or. And furthermore, it's not as if Leo is going to retire tomorrow and if he wins on Monday, and carries on like this, he can win even more. Even five Ballons d'Or won't really do justice to him."
Messi has scored his first hat-trick of 2016. Shocked it took him so long.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 9, 2016
Messi scored 48 goals during the calendar year, as he was the driving force behind their five trophy haul during 2015, which included the Champions League.
When Messi won the award for the fourth time in 2012, he eclipsed the likes of Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten and Michel Platini who each won the award three times during their glittering careers.
However, since then, Ronaldo has taken the trophy home in successive years and he will be bidding to make it three in a row after scoring an incredible 54 goals in 52 games despite his so called indifferent form at the beginning of the season.
As so often the case has been in recent years, it looks like being a straight shootout between Messi and CR7, with the third nominee left trailing in their wake. That looks likely to happen again this year but unlike Manuel Neuer, Franck Ribery, Andres Iniesta and Xavi, the form of Neymar has certainly got people talking about him as a future winner of the award.
He netted 43 times last year forming a deadly attacking partnership with Messi and Luis Suarez for Barcelona, but he was singled out for particular praise for his performances when Messi spent time out of the team due to injury.
We have taken to twitter to find out who you think will take home the accolade tomorrow night and you can vote below.
The FIFA Ballon d'Or takes place tomorrow night, who is going to win it for you?— Newstalk Sport (@NewstalkSport) January 10, 2016
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