Barcelona Star Lionel Messi Should Have Won The 2018 Ballon D’Or For One Major Reason
Luka Modric broke the decade-long dominant duopoly of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo last night as he scooped the Ballon d’Or award and became the first man to win it other than the two superstars since Kaka won in 2007.
He helped Real Madrid win a third consecutive Champions League before leading Croatia to a surprise World Cup final but was Luka Modric really the world’s best individual player in 2018? The answer is no. The Ballon d’Or is flawed as an award as time and time again it is awarded to the winner of the Champions League or World Cup when in fact, the best individual player may not win anything as part of a team.
Nobody would rather have Luka Modric on their team than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018. In fact, Messi’s achievements this year have been completely overlooked and remarkably he finished fifth in the voting.
Take yourself into the world of fantasy for a moment and imagine that last season, Liverpool won the Premier League, losing only one game over the whole league campaign. Imagine that Mo Salah was the star of that team and had scored 34 goals in 36 league games and personally gone a whole league season unbeaten, as well as contributing 12 assists as his side lifted the Premier League trophy.
Then imagine that Salah had scored a goal in the FA Cup final to seal a famous double for the Reds whilst also contributed with four goals and four assists in that FA Cup run. Then add to that a Community Shield victory and you have your Ballon d’Or winner for that year, by a clear margin, even if Liverpool were knocked out in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The above is exactly what Lionel Messi achieved for Barcelona in 2018. The Argentine also had the most goals, assists, key passes and dribbles at club level last season as well as creating the most chances. Three trophies is not a bad haul and he almost dragged a woeful Argentina team past France in the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Messi has simply set the bar too high. If the Ballon d’Or was simply the award for the best individual player he would win it every single year. Modric had a spectacular season, as did Cristiano Ronaldo, but nobody can get near Lionel Messi as a complete player, no matter what trophies his team wins.