Tables News More Xavi: Messi may miss out on Ballon d’Or

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Sport

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Lionel Messi’s injury-affected year could count against him in the Ballon d’Or voting, according to the Barcelona attacker’s teammate Xavi Hernandez.

While Messi has taken the last four Ballon d’Or prizes by large margins, this year’s voting could be closer. Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery is the favourite after winning the Champions League last season, although France’s recent struggles could have a detrimental effect, while Cristiano Ronaldo is making a late burst with a run of goals for Real Madrid and Portugal.

Xavi — who is himself on this year’s 23-man longlist and an outsider to appear on the five-man shortlist to be announced in early December —  told Sport that there was no doubt Messi remained the world’s best player.

However, he accepted that the Argentina international — currently sidelined with his fifth injury in six months — had not had the best of years.

“[Messi] has already won four in a row,” Xavi said. “Maybe those who vote will think about that. Maybe he deserves another. If we look at who is the best player in the world, it is Messi, no doubt. Now, if we talk about the best player in 2013, then I will admit there is some debate. Winning four in a row might damage him when it comes to the voting.”

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