By: Matt Lisoski
The finalists for the Ballon D’or have been revealed. The three players are Ronaldo, Modric and Salah. All three of these players had fantastic years. Ronaldo did what he does and added another Champions League to his trophy case. Modric, also on Real Madrid, won the Champions League and won the best player award at the World Cup (not to mention backpacking his team to the World Cup Final). Salah had a record breaking year in the Premier League and brought Liverpool to the Champions League final. However, there is one person who should be on this list that is not: Lionel Messi.
I feel like Messi’s year went under the radar compared to Modric and Salah, but still produced like Messi does. Messi led the Spanish League in almost every category: goals, assists, chances created, etc. Not to mention, Barcelona and Messi won the Spanish League and the Copa Del Rey, which is the domestic cup for Spain. I almost fell back over my chair when I saw he was not one of the finalists for this year’s award. I think I have a reason for why he was left off and I am going to make a basketball analogy so bear with me here. LeBron James, one of the best basketball players to ever touch the court, puts up absurd numbers every year for the past 10-12 years, however he does not win the MVP every year (not even close to every year actually). Why did I just bring up LeBron James in a soccer blog? Because Messi and LeBron are both victims of their own greatness. They have been putting up crazy numbers for so long that you expect it out of them. So, when someone like Salah has a year that he did, Messi is overlooked because everyone is talking about Salah.
Does Salah deserve all the credit he is getting? Absolutely, but I do not think he should be a finalist over Messi because Messi put up better numbers and won two trophies. If it was up to me, the finalists would be Ronaldo, Messi and Modric.
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