Barcelona Star Lionel Messi Plays Down Ballon d’Or Chances

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi is not confident about his chances of lifting the Ballon d’Or on Monday against Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo…

Lionel Messi is once again one of the three candidates for this year’s Ballon d’Or, but the Argentine is not confident about his chances this time around, reports the Mirror.

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The Barcelona star has enjoyed an excellent year, winning the Golden Ball at the World Cup in Brazil as he helped his team to the final.

He has been overshadowed somewhat by the other candidates for the prestigious award, losing in the World Cup to Manuel Neuer’s Germany, and watching La Liga rival Cristiano Ronaldo lift both the domestic cup and the Champions League.

Despite the 27-year-old having a year most footballers would dream of, by his standards it was decidedly average. He admitted that this year was unlikely to be his year, and conceded that Bayern Munich’s Neuer and Real Madrid’s Ronaldo were likely to pip him to the award.

“Being realistic, I think it will be difficult,” he said.

“Cristiano Ronaldo and [Manuel] Neuer have both had fantastic years. One has won the Cup and the Champions League and scored lots of goals, the other has had a great year winning the World Cup.”

The Ballon d’Or comes at a time of unrest at Barcelona, with rumours of Messi’s exit engulfing the club. The talismanic forward has denied that he could be leaving the Nou Camp, and has branded all the talk of a move to the Premier League as lies.

“I’ve heard stories I’ve spoken to Chelsea or City, that’s all lies,” he continued.

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