2019 Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi has done it again! In fact, six times now. On December 3rd, 2019, the Argentine was crowned Ballon d’Or, aka “Golden Ball” for the sixth time in his career, more than any other player in the history of soccer. Although individual awards barely mean much for Messi anymore, it is still a beautiful recognition of his phenomenal performance over the past year. Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo finished third in this year’s award, but he opted not to attend the ceremony to watch his rival make history. “I was close, but there was just someone a little bit better,” Liverpool defender Van Dijk admitted after finishing second, put aside for a moment the statement ‘a little bit better’.

Messi at the 2019 Ballon d’Or ceremony
(Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomsanderson/2019/12/03)

Just like there are arguments out there suggesting Messi is from another planet, that two separate Ballon d’Or should be organized, one for Messi only and the other for the rest to compete, some people are already taking to their keyboards to protest, claiming Messi doesn’t deserve this year’s Golden Ball. The theory owes a little to logic, but a lot to fatigue. Van Dijk may be a good defender, but definitely not the best candidate as compared to Messi, arguably the greatest of all time. Statistics has always been the best tool to wow critics and quiet doubts. So let’s recap Messi’s overall performance in the 2018/19 season:

– Messi has topped La Liga’s charts for both goals (36) and assists (13)
– Messi tops La Liga for total shots, shots on target, chances created, big chances created, fouls won in the final third, goals from outside the box, goals from free-kicks, braces and hat-tricks.
– Total appearance time: 2710 minutes. Ranks 70th among all La Liga players.

Dominant performance on nearly all aspects of the offensive end under such limited time, Messi’s elite efficiency is truly unrivaled. By the way, Messi is also the top scorer in the 2018/19 season’s Champions League with 12 goals in 10 games. Again, it is impossible to list all of his incredible stats in one article, but just by looking at the stats provided, Messi simply seems unbeatable. Soccer is known to be a team sport, and frankly there are many ways to beat the team Messi is on, whether it’s FC Barcelona or the Argentina national team, but there is absolutely no way to triumph over Messi.

However, repetition is dull, and people want variety. People have grown tired of seeing Messi picking up countless awards over the past decade, and therefore it is not surprising they want a new face to win it, just for a change. We are judging Messi by a totally different standard that we judge every other mere mortal soccer player. We judge Messi by ‘Messi’ standards, which is basically equivalent to the standards of god. After all, he is indeed a miracle from god.