Report: Lionel Messi Wins The 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or

David Ramos

Agencia News are exclusively reporting that FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or, fighting off competition from both Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery, who allegedly finish in second and third-place respectively

Ah, the joys of social networks. If you delve deep enough, there are always hidden gems to be found, particularly when it comes to sports. Whether it's "agents" proclaiming the next big transfer, "club insiders" bringing the latest dressing room gossip, or in this case, an unknown source with an "exclusive" report detailing the alleged winner of the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or.

Spoiler: it isn't Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to the mysterious @AgenciaNews, Lionel Messi will allegedly walk away with his fifth Ballon d'Or, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery trailing in his wake, with Andres Iniesta and former Barcelona striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic occupying fourth and fifth place -- and usually, speculation and rumours like this would be discarded without much thought.

However, the Twitter handle in question has previous; they were amongst the first to report that FIFA had extended the voting deadline just a couple of weeks ago and somehow escaped the headlines last year, despite correctly predicting the rankings of the top five in the 2012 Ballon d'Or -- roughly a month before the results were officially announced. The same account tweeted an exclusive regarding Eric Abidal's move to Monte Carlo approximately 48 hours before AS Monaco confirmed the signing, and continuing on the Ballon d'Or theme, they also correctly reported the ranking of four of the top five managers in the 2012 FIFA World Coach of the Year Award.

Let's take it with a pinch of salt; Lionel Messi will surely remain an outsider for this year's award, but maybe success isn't out of his reach after all...

What do you think? Does Lionel Messi deserve to win his fifth consecutive Ballon d'Or?

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