Barcelona’s Messi still the man to beat in Ballon d’Or betting

Lionel Messi may not have had as trophy a laden season as previous years, but the Barcelona man is still 1/1 favourite to win the Ballon d’Or.

Messi has won the award for the previous three seasons and last year collected nearly half of the overall votes cast.

He scored an incredible 73 goals in 60 appearances for Barcelona last term and rounded off his season by hitting a hat-trick for Argentina against Brazil in a June friendly.

It’s hard to see beyond a win for the player but Cristiano Ronaldo shouldn’t be discounted at 6/5.

Ronaldo’s goals helped Real Madrid to their first La Liga title since 2008 and he performed well throughout the European Championships with Protugal.

However, there is no getting away from the fact that Ronaldo is hard to love.

Despite his excellence for Portugal in Poland and the Ukraine, he came under heavy criticism for wanting to take the last spot kick in his side’s 4-2 penalty shootout defeat against Spain – a decision many believe was based purely on arrogance.

Ronaldo’s cause also won’t be helped by the emergence of Real Madrid teammate Iker Casillas as a genuine contender for the award at 8/1.

With the goalkeeper winning both La Liga and the European Championships, he could take a fair few votes from Ronaldo and, with Messi winning by such a large margin last year, he needs very vote he can to close the gap.

The 1/1 offered for Messi to win the award for a record fourth consecutive year may not be the longest odds you’ll ever encounter, but it’s certainly worth serious consideration.