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Why Messi could still miss out on the Ballon d'Or

Breakdown of The Best votes shows Messi could still miss out on the Ballon d’Or

September 24, 2019 By Ali M.
The winner of The Best FIFA Men's Player Award has always gone on to win the Ballon d'Or but Messi could end that trend.

Ever since the inception of the FIFA Football Awards, every player that won The Best FIFA Men’s Player prize went on to clinch the Ballon d’Or. Cristiano Ronaldo did so in the first two years, in 2016 and 2017, and Modric followed suit in 2018 when he pipped the Portuguese icon to the award.

However, Lionel Messi could break this trend. The Argentine was named The Best of three finalists that included Virgil Van Dijk and Ronaldo in Monday’s award gala, winning 46 points compared to the Liverpool superstar’s 38, with Juventus’ goalscoring machine finishing in third with 36 points.

However, a breakdown of the votes hints that Leo might miss out on the Ballon d’Or. The Best is decided by an "international jury" comprising the coaches and captains of national teams, journalists and fans, and Messi won in all the categories except for the one that matters most: the journalists.

The Argentine earned 379 votes from coaches, beating out Ronaldo (307) and Van Dijk (289) in this category. The same goes for the captains, with Leo garnering 377 votes compared to Virgil’s 337 and Cristiano’s 330.

The popular vote was a landslide win for the Barcelona icon, racking up 1,359,728 votes. Only 962,919 votes went to his Portuguese rival, with the Dutch finalist earning 704,235.

However, when it came to the journalists, Messi did not come out on top. They favored Van Dijk, winning 462 votes, nearly 100 more than Leo’s 364. Ronaldo, meanwhile, managed only 264 votes.

Why does this matter, one might ask? The reason is that when it comes to the Ballon d’Or, voting is only open to a panel of journalists, and given how the press favored Van Dijk, the 32-year-old will have some catching up to do. The way things stand, the Anfield superstar remains the favorite but just as Messi surprised many on Monday, he could do so again come France Football’s December gala. 

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