Lionel Messi Updates
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The Blaugrana superstar praised the thick friendship among the Barcelona players as the key to their incredible run in 2015. The Catalan giants have won five major trophies this year, with the latest being the FIFA Club World Cup yesterday.

Barcelona complete glorious 2015 with Club World Cup triumph over River Plate
Messi talked about the friendly atmosphere in the dressing room and hailed all players for standing for each other.

"We have a fantastic relationship in the dressing room. We have been playing together for a long time and that helps us. Our group is stronger because of this familiarity." The Argentine spoke after winning the coveted trophy for the third time.

"We have been playing together for quite a long time and it has helped us to understand better", Messi added.

With the win against River Plate in the final, Barcelona became the only club to win the global trophy three times. Luis Suarez and Messi found the back of the net against River Plate, in what looked like a one-sided match.

Out of the nine Liga BBVA (first division of Spanish domestic football) awards, Barcelona won 5, two of those were won by their talisman Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi
The Argentine put up a strong show by winning the Best Forward and Best Player category. He definitely sends a strong statement to the world, about why he is at pole position to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or on 11th January, 2016 for a record fifth time.

At the event, Messi expressed his disappointment about Luis Suarez being left out of the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015 shortlist. He said, "I also would have liked to share the event with Luis because he also deserved to be there following his great performance during last season.”

Messi also showed his respect for Cristiano Ronaldo's nomination for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015 nomination by saying, "But we must also accept the fact that Cristiano is a true deserver of the nomination. So we will go to enjoy the moment like we did every time we went there."

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was awarded the Best Coach for his treble winning campaign.

Other winners from Liga BBVA and Liga Adelante (second division of Spanish domestic football) were:

Liga BBVA

Best Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo (FC Barcelona)
Best Defender: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid CF)
Best Midfielder: James Rodriguez (Real Madrid CF)
Best Forward: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
Best Coach: Luis Enrique Martínez (FC Barcelona)
Best Player: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
Best American Player: Neymar Jr. (FC Barcelona)
Best African Player: Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia CF)
Fans Five-Star Player: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF)

Liga Adelante

Best goalkeeper: Ivan Cuellar (Sporting Gijon)
Best defender: Bernardo Espinosa (Sporting Gijon)
Best midfielder: Oscar Gonzalez (Real Valladolid)
Best forward: Ruben Castro (Real Betis)
Best coach: Pablo Machin (Girona)

The long wait is over; final list of nominees for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015 is out. Not surprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi make it to the top three male selected candidates for this coveted trophy, joining them is Brazilian forward Neymar.

FIFA Ballon d'Or trophy of 2014
Both Messi and Neymar play for Spanish club Barcelona while Ronaldo dons the jersey of Real Madrid.

Carli Lloyd from USA, Aya Miyama from Japan and Célia Šašić from Germany are selected to compete for the women’s award.

Pep Guardiola, manager of FC Bayern Munich, Luis Enrique of FC Barcelona and Jorge Sampaoli of Chilean national team since 2012 are selected as male nominees for the FIFA World Coach of the Year.

Jill Ellis of USA national team, Mark Sampson of English national team and Norio Sasaki of Japanese national team are candidates for the FIFA World Coach of the Year, women’s national team.

Selected nominees were chosen by captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams from 207 FIFA member associations and media individuals selected by FIFA and French Football Federation.

FIFA Puskás Award is given to the player who scored the best goal of the year. The nominees for this award are Alessandro Florenzi, who scored a screamer from 50 yards for AS Roma against FC Barcelona, Wendell Lira, scoring for Goianesia against Atletico-GO and Lionel Messi, scoring for Barcelona after dribbling past the heart of Athletic Bilbao's defence.

Winners to be announced on 11 January 2016 at FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015 ceremony.

3. Real Madrid 0 - 2 FC Barcelona (UCL 2010/11 SF 1st Leg):

Lionel Messi is the top scorer in the El Clasico fixture
Real Madrid faced their arch rivals Barcelona in an ill-tempered UCL semifinal clash at Bernabeu. Both clubs managed to fierce the match with their quick attack and brick defence, the match was equally poised until Real Madrid defender Pepe received marching orders for a high tackle on Dani Alves in the 61st minute.

Barcelona used the extra man to their advantage and gained a crucial away goal lead in the 76th minute when Lionel Messi tapped the ball into the net from Afellay’s cross. In the 86th minute, Messi provided a moment of magic and scored a solo goal and brought the Catalans a step closer to the final berth in Wembley.

Barcelona eventually managed to win their 4th UCL that year, by defeating Manchester United 3-1 in the finals.


2. Real Madrid 0 - 3 FC Barcelona (La Liga 2005/06):

Ronaldinho is the second Barcelona player in the history to gain a standing ovation from the Real Madrid fans.
Real Madrid hosted the Catalans in their first meeting of the new season. Samuel Eto’o opened the scoring for the visitors in the 15th minute. Barcelona’s front line consisting Messi, Ronaldinho and Eto’o continued to torment the hosts. In the 59th minute, Ronaldinho provided a moment of brilliance and managed to scrape through the defense and scored a perfect goal to increase their lead.

Galactico’s were stunned and couldn’t stop the attacking prowess of the visitors, eventually they ended up conceding another goal and this time Ronaldinho managed to provide the same magic and scored his second goal of the game.

Even the home fans were impressed by Ronaldinho’s brilliant performance thus ended up giving him a standing ovation for his match winning performance. This ovation was one of the most memorable moments in the history of sport.


1. Real Madrid 2 - 6 FC Barcelona (La Liga 2008/09):

Pique managed to score in his debut El Clasico
Real Madrid were looking to end their disappointing campaign with a high note, meanwhile the Catalans were looking to claim their championship crown with a resounding victory over their arch rivals. Real Madrid eventually broke the deadlock in the opening minutes of the match, when Gonzalo Higuain headed home from a Sergio Ramos’s cross, but the lead was cut short in minutes when Henry leveled the score line and within minutes Barcelona’s Captain Carlos Puyol scored the second goal for the the Catalans by heading the ball into the net from Xavi’s free-kick.

In the 35th minute Lionel Messi added his name to the score sheet by pounding the ball into the net after Xavi robbed the ball from Lassana Diarra in his own half. Real Madrid showed strengths of comeback and they nearly managed to pull one in the 55th minute, when Sergio Ramos headed the ball into the back of the net from Robben’s set-piece and reduced the lead by one goal.

But Barcelona managed to exploit Real’s defense and Henry once again added his name to the score sheet in the 57th minute by slotting the ball into the back of the net. In the 74th minute, Xavi managed to set up Messi for his second of the game and increased their lead to three goals. In the 82nd minute, Pique completed the humiliation by tapping the ball from close range.

This was one of the most resounding victories for FC Barcelona against their arch rivals Real Madrid. Barcelona completed their first ever treble in that season.

Real Madrid will be hosting FC Barcelona in their 230th competitive meeting at Bernebeu this weekend. Barcelona is currently at the top of the table with 27 points and Real Madrid in the second position with 24 points.

Real Madrid will be hosting FC Barcelona in their 230th competitive meeting at Bernebeu this weekend.
Real Madrid:
Real Madrid endured their first loss of Benitez’s campaign at Sevilla last week. The Los Blancos will be looking to dethrone Barcelona and close the gap in the point table.

Team News:
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is back in contention, after missing out international friendlies due to a shoulder injury. Rafael Benitez will be making some first team changes, with Columbian starlet James Rodriguez and Brazilian defender Danilo back to first team action. However, the galacticos will be without Spanish playmaker Isco, who dropped out of Spain’s friendlies due to muscular strain. Shot-stopper Keylor Navas is back to training, but he is still in doubts to star this weekend. French striker Karim Benzema is also a doubt for the clash.

Predicted Line-up:
Castilla, Danilo, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo, Kroos, Modric, Rodriguez, Bale, Ronaldo, Jese

FC Barcelona:
Barcelona thrashed Villarreal 3-0 last week and regained the top spot in the table. The Catalans will be looking to maintain their current winning streak and increase the point gap between their rivals Real Madrid this weekend.

Team News:
Lionel Messi returned to first team training after missing two months of football due to a knee injury. However, Messi will be a doubt to start the match. Ivan Rakitic also returned to first team training after missing the last two games with an injured calf. Even though Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets missed Spain’s international friendly against Belgium due to a minor thigh problem, he will still be playing in the deep defensive midfield position.

Predicted Line-up:
Bravo, Alba, Pique, Mascherano, Alves, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Munir, Suarez, Neymar.

Prediction:
Real Madrid 2 – 2 Barcelona

Pele has named Lionel Messi as the greatest footballer of the last decade, selecting him over the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and fellow countryman Neymar.

Pele and Lionel Messi
Pele has not often praised Messi and had once infamously said that Neymar was better than Messi and Messi had to overtake the Brazilian first to become the best player ever. But he has now changed his stance, saying that Messi is the best to have played in the last 10 years.



Pele said that although Cristiano is a great player who scores a lot of goals, Messi plays with a different style and that makes him a better player in his opinion. Pele also reserved praise for Neymar saying that the Brazilian had a great future ahead of him.

Pele said that if he were to pick a team, he would include all three of the players in it.

Pele had previously said that he remains the greatest footballer of all time and Messi will have to match his record of 1,283 goals if he was to be the greatest ever. He had also said that he was as good as Messi technically, and that Messi would have to collect more honours for his country to reach his level.

He maintained his stance on this interview as well, stating that he would have been just as successful had he been playing football in the modern era. He said that football is just about the skill, and whatever the era may be, players like him and Beto would have remained successful.

Pele was speaking to the press while on a trip to India. Pele is expected to attend some of the ISL matches during his visit.

Leo Messi is sure to win this year's Ballon d'Or according to his teammate Neymar.

Lionel Messi and Neymar
Messi inspired Barcelona to a treble winning campaign last season and reached the finals of the Copa America with Argentina in the summer. Messi has already scored 35 goals from 35 games in 2015 and has won the Copa Del Rey, La Liga and Champions league with Barcelona.



Messi is currently out with a lengthy injury but according to Neymar, that is not going to stop the Argentine from winning the coveted trophy once again.

Neymar was speaking to the media after Brazil's 2-1 win over Peru, when he said that this years prize is already decided and that no one other than Messi deserves to win it this time. Neymar also said that he hoped to get into the top three for the first time this year.

Neymar also had a good season and scored in the final of Champions League against Juventus. With Messi currently out injured, Neymar has been the focal point in Barcelona's attack and he has been superb so far, taking responsibility when needed.

Neymar was seventh in last year's Ballon d'Or poll but he has been to the gala once before when he was awarded the Puskas award for the best goal back in 2012 when he was at Santos.

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo recently shared the trailer of his upcoming documentary movie 'Ronaldo'. Now Barcelona have posted the trailer of their upcoming documentary 'Barça Dreams'.

Barcelona post the trailer of upcoming documentary 'Barça Dreams'
Barcelona post the trailer of upcoming documentary 'Barça Dreams'
Barcelona shared the trailer with the fans via their YouTube channel. The documentary will be only about the club and its history and culture. The movie will also feature their past and present superstars. Yes, obviously Messi would be included!!

The movie is set to release later this month.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: 


Brazil legend Kaka has heaped praise upon Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and jokingly said that he was the last Ballon d'Or winner to be born on "this planet".

Kaká, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Kaka won the prize in 2007 after inspiring AC Milan to their seventh Champions league victory. That was the last time that a player other that Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi had claimed the prize. Both of them have exchanged the trophy between themselves for the past seven years since then.

The former Real Madrid player now plays for Major League Soccer side Orlando City and already has nine goals with four assists to his name this season.

The Brazilian was talking to Marca, saying "Ronaldinho, Cristiano, Messi and myself are the only Ballon d'Or winners who are still playing. It fills me with pride to stand alongside these great players, and to be the last player to have won the award before Messi and Ronaldo."

"You could say that I was the last Ballon d'Or winner to have been born on this planet", he added.

The playmaker secured a move to Santiago Bernabeu after his impressive displays at Milan and had a tough time there. He did not get much play time under Jose Mourinho as he often preferred youngster Mesut Ozil to the Brazilian.

He was reported to have been alienated from the squad and was rumored to have a poor relationship with Mourinho. But he waved away those reports saying that he had a professional relationship with Mourinho and that he had no such issues with the Portugese coach.

The former Champions league, Seria A and La Liga winner subsequently had a small stint at his old club AC Milan before moving to Orlando City.

Kaka was one of the global stars of the game along with Ronaldinho and Zidane in the early 2000s before the emergence of Ronaldo and Messi. While his career hasn't worked out well since his move to Spain, his remarkable contributions at Milan cannot be forgotten.

Here are 10 stats from this week's UCL games:

*Eden Hazard missed a chance to open the scoring from the spot for Chelsea against Maccabi Tel Aviv. This made him only the fourth player to have missed three or more penalties in the Champions league since 2006/07. The other three players to have done so are Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

Lionel Messi
*After appearing for Barcelona against Roma, Lionel Messi became the youngest player in UCL history to have played in 100 games.

*Despite losing against Dinamo Zagreb, Arsenal have won 76 times in the Champions league -  the most by a team that has not won the competition.

*Dinamo Zagreb's win was also their first win in the competition since September 1999.

*Since his debut in 2004, only Xavi (24)  and Cristiano Ronaldo (23) have registered more assists than Cesc Fabregas (22).

*Roma's defence was excellent against Barcelona. This game was the one in which Barcelona had least shots on target (3) this season.

*Diego Costa scored his first Champions League goal for Chelsea. It was his first goal in the competition since last scoring for Atletico Madrid against Chelsea.

*Theo Walcott became the sixth Arsenal player to have scored 10 or more goals for the club.

*Arsenal's defence was shaky today and this game meant that the Gunners have just kept one clean sheet in their last 11 Champions league away group games.

*Messi's stats in the UCL after his 100 games - 77 goals, 22 assists , 4 trophy wins.

Cristiano gave  his fans another game to savour after shooting in five goals against a dismal Espanyol side, while Messi, coming off the bench, scored the winner against Atletico Madrid. The duo showed no signs of slowing down and neutral supporters will be delighted that the rivalry remains as healthy as ever.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo became Real Madrid's all time top scorer surpassing Raul's record of 228 goals when he scored his fourth of the game. He is currently on 230 goals but is still behind Messi and four others on the all time La Liga topscorer charts. The Portuguese claimed his 28th La Liga hattrick on his way to breaking the record and also provided an assist to Karim Benzema for Madrid's fourth goal.

Although it took Raul 550 matches to score the aforementioned number of goals, the former Red Devil broke the record in just 204 appearances. After having a difficult evening against Real Betis when Madrid won 5-0 and Cristiano wasn't able to find the net, the Portuguese silenced his doubters with an emphatic display scoring his hat-trick within the first 20 minutes of the game.

Lionel Messi
As for Barcelona, their main man Leo Messi found himself on the bench at the start of the match as Luis Enrique opting to rest his star player ahead of the high profile clash against Atletico Madrid. Messi was still the one to make a difference in the game though as he came on as a substitute with the scores tied at 1-1 and scored the winner by finishing off a wonderful team move. The goal was the Argentine's 287th, and while Cristiano may have broken the Real Madrid scoring charts, the La Liga all time top-scorer record is safe with Messi.

The goal also meant that Barcelona will stay atop of the league table, 2 points ahead of Real Madrid. With both teams and their main talismans showing such scary early season form, it is definitely exciting times for the supporters.

It is a fact that Cristiano Ronaldo takes his rivalry with Leo Messi very seriously. He may try to deny the fact but it makes the fire burn inside of the Real Madrid man.

Cristiano Ronaldo during the warm-up
Fans of the opposite team know that they can get under Ronaldo’s skin by chanting his rival’s name at him. This is exactly what the Albania fans did during this week’s Euro 2016 qualifier.

Chants of ‘Messi!’ by the crowd were clearly audible from the stands during the warm-up. Ronaldo actually enjoyed the chants and asked the Albanians for more instead of feeling offended.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:


Barcelona's latest signing Arda Turan has already won the admiration of the fans of his new team with this latest gesture. The midfielder will not be able to play for his new team for six months due to the ban imposed on the club but it is clear why he wanted to join the La Liga champions.

Arda Turan
The 28-year-old had recently professed his admiration for Lionel Messi and was keen on teaming up with the Argentine captain. The midfielder was asked to sign a jersey of Lionel Messi during an event recently, which he turned down. Turan did not look happy at being asked to sign a shirt of Messi.

The real reason behind it is because Turan did not feel worthy to sign the jersey of Messi whom he holds in high regard. He had previously spoken about how he felt about Messi by calling him the best.

He also said that he has never seen Maradona play because of his age, but for him Messi is the best player in history.  He also mentioned that Messi's passes and dribbling are better than Ronaldo - and Ronaldo isn’t bad at dribbling!

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:


One of the greatest footballer of all time and Barcelona superstar Leo Messi today celebrates his 28th birthday.

Lionel Messi at the age of 14
The Argentine’s club published a video of unseen footage of him playing as a 14 year old in the Cadet A team soon after joining the La Masia academy.

Messi has 24 major trophies to his name with the club.

Messi dribbling extraordinaire can be seen scoring a host of typical Leo Messi goals, with superb headers and some typically divine skills.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:


FC Barcelona won their fifth UCL trophy after defeating Italian giants Juventus 3-1 in the Champions League final in Berlin on Saturday.

Barcelona defeated Juventus to be the European champions for the fifth time
Ivan Rakitic scored the first goal after 4 minutes into the game. Luis Suarez then scored in the 68th and Brazilian Neymar in stoppage time, which sealed a treble for the Catalans who also won La Liga and the Spanish King's Cup.

Both FC Barcelona and Juventus played outstanding attacking football in one of the greatest European finals and Italian giants pushed Barcelona all the way, cancelling out Rakitic's early strike for a while when Alvaro Morata equalized after 55 minutes.

The nail biting final lifted football's spirits following the revelations in the recent FIFA corruption scandal.

The Champions League win also provided Xavi with a successful send-off to his career with the Catalan giants before he joins Qatari club Al Saad.

Lionel Messi has again been linked to a move to the 13 time Premier League champions, after saying "only God knew what the future held" at the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala on Monday evening. “United are the only English club that could afford to buy Messi, particularly if Barcelona were to demand his €250m (£195m) buyout fee in one payment, which would be likely.” - The Guardian

Lionel Messi
My view: Lionel Messi's name has been thrown all over the football world in the past week after a supposed ego battle with manager Luis Enrique. Four or five years ago and Messi being linked with another club wouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone, tax evasion scandals and Barcelona in decline however, have made people think whether the 4 time Ballon d'Or winner will actually stay for much longer.

Thomas Mueller has also been linked with a move to the Red Devils by the Daily Star after reporting United were “boosted by the news that Bayern hitman Thomas Mueller is willing to leave Bavaria” and that “Mueller is desperate for a change of scenery and has told his agent to secure him a move away from the Allianz Arena.”

My view: Muellar is one of the most underrated players in the modern game. He's a player they can play in central wide midfield, along with on the wings and as a striker, and play all those positions really well. Players like Ribery, Robben, Neuer, Lahm etc have overshadowed how good of a player he actually is. Although the limelight would be shone directly onto him at Old Trafford, a move to Manchester would be very unlikely.

Article contributed by: Kevin Santos

Twitter: @kevin5996

Cristiano Ronaldo is now the best footballer in the world. He has adapted even more with the forward not just scoring goals, but also creating and is making it a habit to repeatedly laud the efforts of his team mates and coaches.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Winner FIFA Ballon d'Or 2014
To put it in a football context, before last year's awards ceremony the Portuguese star was 4-1 (Ballon d'Or) awards down. It is now 4-3. He showed his delight as his crowning glory was announced. Through the years of Lionel Messi's dominance Ronaldo coped with adversity, doubt over his abilities and gained the tag of one of the most hated players in the world. He put his head down and worked hard as he watched Lionel Messi claim four Ballon d'Ors in a row; while seated in the first row of the Zurich building. Fast track 2015, Ronaldo has bagged two in a row as the Portuguese cream is finally at the top.

Now its Messi's turn to be the fan, the side-show and the guy back in the trenches working harder. Now he sits on the sideline and watches Ronaldo bask in the rays of the sun. Messi however has not had the best last two seasons; plagued by injuries, poor form, the bickering and the inability to be the main guy in world football. Even Joseph Blatter was quick to label Ronaldo as a extravagant, a commander on the pitch and mocked his hairstyles, making note of his preference of Lionel Messi. Isn't the president of FIFA meant to be objective? Ronaldo went on to respond in a respectful manner to Mr Blatter as he powered through the dramas to be the world's best player last season.

In recent weeks the murmurs outside the Nou Camp have been rather different. Messi has been very vocal lately. While his arch adversary has been known to be vocal and one who loves the spotlight both on and off the pitch, Messi has been known to be the private and reserved player. Oh has he? Messi has changed, or are his true colors showing?

What we noticed:

  • A rocky relationship with Luis Enrique. 
  • He is unsettled at Barca as he goes back and forth about his future at the club. 
  • He got gastroenteritis after being dropped by Luis Enrique for the Real Sociedad loss. (Funny enough Xavi Hernandez made comments earlier that week about how players who make such a complaint (gastroenteritis - stomach bug) are often covering up something and there is more to it than revealed.) 
  • The star forward is showing his frustrations, which has been reported to be missing Cesc Fabregas a close friend.
  • Maneuvering a move away? Maybe, with the player or was it his son Thiago liking Chelsea's Instagram account, and some of their players' accounts. He then votes for Jose Mourinho as the best coach in the world. Read into it as you want.


This is unfamiliar territory for the Argentine skipper. So used to the limelight, being away from the headlines for the last two years might be affecting him. Messi could be hoping for a move away, but with FFP (FIFA Fair Play) active only two clubs can realistically get the star. Real Madrid and Manchester United, who are both in no position to get the player, the deal will be worth around £550 million. The question is, is it worth it in a financial sense?

Barcelona's easiest solution would be the sacking of another manager, who Lionel Messi has been unable to play under. It will be a softer blow than losing their talisman. This will leave Barca in an even more unstable state as they have had 4 coaches in the last six years. The tables have turned indeed and now we wait and hope to see how this change of events will affect the Argentine star. Will he be able to bounce back or show the same level of desire as Ronaldo? If he cannot, we have to acknowledge Ronaldo a lot more. At this moment Ronaldo leads the race to not just another Ballon d'Or but a record tying fourth.

Article contributed by: Benedict Chanakira

Twitter: @bchanakira2

Jose Mourinho admits he has "no chance" of signing Lionel Messi for Chelsea because of UEFA's Financial Fair Play restrictions.

Jose Mourinho on whether Chelsea will sign Lionel Messi
The Blues last month announced a record profit of £18.4 million for the year ending June 2014, which was a result of increased revenues and shrewd player trading, and appear well on course to comply with FFP.

But Mourinho insists that due to the break-even regulations, there is no way of bringing four-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, who has a £205 million release clause in his current Barcelona contract, to Stamford Bridge in the near future.

Mourinho said, "No I have no chance of that," , when he was asked by Clare Balding about signing Messi.

"Because at this moment there is financial fair play and with the financial fair play we have to follow certain rules, certain numbers and we obviously have no conditions to buy, as you say a super amazing player paid with super amazing numbers that Chelsea at this moment we cannot do."

In November 2014, Messi, for the first time, hinted that he might one day have to leave Barcelona while ex Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas also admitted that he would love to play alongside the Argentine superstar again.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:


One, if not the most, prestigious award for any footballer to receive, the Ballon D’Or is given to the player of the year of the previous season. The award is often referred to as the European Footballer of the Year award and is a huge honor and privilege to be a finalist. This years finalists include Manuel Neuer, Christiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi. The winner will be announced on January 12th 2015, in Zurich.

Ballon D’Or finalists
Lionel Messi: The Four time Ballon D’Or winner has come back to attempt to win his fifth! The argentine is known worldwide for his fantastic style of playing and record breaking stats. In the 2013/14 season, Messi scored twenty-eight goals in thirty-one appearances for his club, FC Barcelona. Messi made his debut for FC Barcelona on October 16, 2004 and has since then won various prestigious awards that have set him aside from other players. In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, Messi won the award for Best Player in the World, and was featured in UEFA team of the year. Messi has continued to break records, and stun viewers of the beautiful game.

Christiano Ronaldo: Recognized worldwide as one of the best players in the game at the moment, Christiano Ronaldo has become an idol to many, and one of the contenders for this year’s Ballon D’Or. The Portuguese striker scored 31 goals in 30 games for his club, and played a crucial part in winning the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. Due to his stellar season in 2013/14, Ronaldo was named UEFA Best Player in Europe. The Real Madrid superstar won the Ballon D’Or last year, and is on his way to win his next.

Manuel Neuer: After finishing twenty-third in the Ballon D’Or list last year, Manuel Neuer has worked himself up to the top three, which hasn’t been accomplished by a goalkeeper since Gianluigi Buffon in 2006. In League play in 2014, the Bayern Munich goalkeeper allowed 8.5 goals fewer than would be expected based on total shots faced. He is known for redefining the meaning of goalkeeper, and being able to play outside the area. He was also part of the Germany team that won this past World Cup in Brazil!

After taking a poll, people hypothesized that Ronaldo would be the winner of this year’s Ballon D’Or. (A population of 50 was asked)

Ronaldo: 23
Messi: 19
Neuer: 8

Article contributed by: ‎Lissette Becherano

Twitter: @Lizzy_becherano

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