This has been a very difficult season for Lionel Messi, who has been unable to find form for a consistent basis like he has done in the last five years. He has already suffered three injuries this season, while the latest injury is likely to keep him out of action for up to 8 weeks. A large part of his success has come about because he has been able to stay relatively injury free for the past three years. This latest round of injury has meant that the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery are likely to overtake him in the race for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award.
Messi has won this award for the last four years, which is a record in itself. Many are starting to doubt whether the time of Messi at the top of football is over, but his Barcelona teammate Xavi thinks otherwise. The Spaniard says that Messi will only return back much stronger than before, which will spell trouble for the opposition. The 33-year-old midfielder has recalled that Messi has managed to play two games a week without much rest for the last four years. Such a gruelling schedule is likely to take an effect on any player and Messi is no exception.
“He is a very tough guy, mentally strong and he will return. He has had four or five years playing everything, remaining decisive in all the games, scoring two or three goals in many of them. He is the best in the world but the body says enough and so he must stop. The most important thing is that he recovers well. For us, he is the No.1 and we need him a lot. In January, he will return and prove to be the best,” said Messi’s teammate Xavi to a Spanish tabloid.
Leo Messi Video clip Score: 4 / five
Former Chelsea and current Brazilian national team manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has said that he expects Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi to win the next two FIFA Ballon d’Or awards. Messi has already created numerous records by winning the famous accolade four times in a row. Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo has been scoring more than 50 goals in a season in the last three years, but he has not been able to win this award is due to the presence of Messi. The 26-year-old has also won the whole host of team accolades like the Champions league and the league title.
Many reckon that he is the best player of all time and he will certainly go a long way into proving that by winning the next two FIFA Ballon d’Or awards. Brazil has their own superstar in the form of Neymar, but he is unlikely to pose competition for Messi is the next two years according to Scolari. A lot of pressure on the manager was finally lifted after the team managed to win the Confederations cup by beating Spain in the final. However, the real test will be coming in the form of the World Cup next year. Messi managed to score 46 league goals for Barcelona, as they won the title last season.
“Lionel will continue to be the best for one or two more years. Messi is a team player but he is blessed with a marvellous individual talent. He is capable of winning a game all on his own,” said the manager, who has himself been in charge of former world player of the year award winning players. Many reckon that it was Scolari who took Ronaldinho to the next level by taking him to the 2002 World Cup. Ronaldinho became one of the best players in the world after that tournament.