Lionel Messi could win a record seventh Ballon d’Or but he will need to accomplish a few more things to get there.
Last summer was nightmarish as far as Lionel Messi and Barcelona were concerned. The player had had enough with the former management and informed them of his intention to leave the club. However, he ended up staying put at Barcelona and endured a difficult start to the campaign under new manager Ronald Koeman.
However, as the club settled down away from the pitch, Lionel Messi settled on it. His numbers since the turn of the year have been incredible and we’re starting to see the best of Lionel Messi once again. Could he bag another Ballon d’Or and go two clear of Cristiano Ronaldo?
Well, he’ll need to do these things in order to do that.
#5 Lionel Messi should finish as top scorer in La Liga
Lionel Messi has finished as the top scorer in La Liga in the past four seasons. He is well on his way to being La Liga’s top scorer for a fifth season running. Messi currently has 23 goals from 27 appearances in the La Liga this term.
Gerard Moreno of Villarreal is at second but he only has 19 goals, four less than Lionel Messi. The form that Lionel Messi is in, he won’t find it difficult to bag more goals before the season draws to a close.
If he finishes as top scorer in La Liga and bags a record eighth Pichichi trophy, he’ll have moved an inch closer towards winning the Ballon d’Or.
#4 Finish with most number of assists in La Liga
Lionel Messi is not only the main goalgetter at Barcelona but he continues to also be the creator-in-chief for them. There is no player in the Spanish top-flight who’s more threatening with the ball at his feet in the final third than Messi.
In addition to the 23 goals he has scored, Lionel Messi has provided eight assists so far this term. He is currently second on the assist chart behind Iago Aspas.
If Lionel Messi can overtake Iago Aspas over the next nine gameweeks, then there is every chance that he will once again be topping both the goals and assists charts in La Liga. If he does that, he’d easily be chosen as La Liga player of the year as well.
#3 Lionel Messi should win the domestic double
After struggling earlier on in the season, both Lionel Messi and Barcelona seem to finally be hitting their stride under Ronald Koeman. They have turned their form around domestically and even though they crashed out of the UEFA Champions League, they could yet walk away with two trophies at the end of the season.
After Ousmane Dembele’s 90th minute winner against Real Valladolid last night, Barcelona are now just a point behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid. There were times during this season when the Rojiblancos’ lead at the top of the table had looked unassailable.
That has most definitely changed now with Real Madrid and Barcelona hot on their heels and breathing down their necks. Barcelona had also pulled off a spectacular comeback victory over Sevilla in the Copa Del Rey semi-final and are set to face Athletic Bilbao in the final.
If they can win the domestic double, Lionel Messi would become a really strong contender for the Ballon d’Or.
#2 Win the Golden boot/ball in Copa America
Lionel Messi will join the Argentinian international side to take part in the Copa America this summer. Argentina and Colombia will host this edition of the Copa America and Argentina are in with a shout.
One look at the competition will tell you that Brazil and Argentina are hot favourites to win the Copa America this term.
If Lionel Messi can kick on in the same vein and keep his levels up during the tournament, he could end up with either the Golden Boot for most goals scored or the Golden Ball for the best player in the tournament.
#1 Win Copa America with Argentina
One of the biggest criticisms that Lionel Messi continues to face is that he has not tasted success with the Argentine national team. He has come close on quite a few occasions and even made it to the final of the World Cup in 2014.
Winning the Copa America with Argentina will go a long way towards winding up his critics and in making a strong case for winning the Ballon d’Or this year.