Another Lionel Messi Ballon d’Or win tipped as a mere formality

Whether Lionel Messi opts to take the stage in another velvet number, something with polka dots, or even a shiny red three-piece is open to question this evening, but what isn’t in doubt is that he will be picking up a fifth Ballon d’Or award.

That is, according to the latest Ladbrokes News poll that puts Barcelona’s Argentinean maestro clearly ahead of the rest in the race for the prestigious gong.

The 28-year-old was backed by 66 per cent of those polled ahead of the ceremony in Zurich on Monday night.

Having been voted in the top two in the world in each of the last six years, it was understandable that the diminutive magician was so popular with readers.


There’s no prizes for guessing who would be his nearest challenger either, with Cristiano Ronaldo – winner of the last two awards – lagging behind with 22 per cent of votes.

The Real Madrid man was runner-up to Messi in both 2011 and 2012, and according to our readers, is set for another supporting role.

Finally, it might have been a fantastic year for fellow Barca forward Neymar, but despite the fact he’s made the shortlist it is looking increasingly likely that he will be there just to make up the numbers.

The Brazilian attracted just 12 per cent of the vote, signalling that there is plenty of time for this ongoing dual between Messi and Ronaldo to continue for some years to come.

Only this time, it is set to be Messi that is the man to grab that golden trophy and take a 4-2 lead in the head-to-head struggle since the award was revamped in 2010.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.