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Ballon d'Or 2010: Why Lionel Messi should win over Xavi and Andres Iniesta

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To be nominated for a prestigious award such as the Ballon d’Or is an honor in itself, although this year’s ceremony is a little bit tarnished with the exclusion of Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder – who had an outstanding 2009/2010 campaign.

Jose Mourinho likes to bemoan the absence of Sneijder from the final three as well as criticizing the inclusion of FC Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta, mostly due to the fact El Illusionista was injured for a prolonged time. Well, in all fairness the "humiliated" one may have a point there. But then again, what did Sneijder do that Andres Iniesta didn’t do? Treble – check; scoring important goals – check. Now, what did Iniesta accomplish that Sneijder didn’t? He won the World Cup!

In a perfect world San Andres, the genius that is Xavi and Lionel Messi would all win the much coveted award. But the world isn’t perfect, somebody has to lose.

Based on trophies won, the shoe-in candidate for this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or (stupid name by the way) is hands down, Xavi Hernandez. Nonetheless, this editorial doesn’t have the title "Why Xavi should win over Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi". This article is making a case for La Pulga alias the greatest player in the world (figuratively speaking, he is of rather small stature).

There isn’t any other player in the world that can rival Lionel Messi’s exploits on the pitch. No, not even the Portuguese poster boy for Armani underwear. At 23, he has already won everything on a club as well as on an individual level. In the past two seasons he scored a ridiculous 85 goals in all competitions. If consistency is the benchmark for quality – Messi is rewriting the criteria. Never one to miss an opportunity, he is more often than not scoring more than one goal a game.

In the past one-season or world cup wonders like Michael Owen or Fabio Cannavaro have won the award but failed to replicate their award-winning form. Meanwhile Messi is on course for another record-breaking campaign and if it weren’t for the incompetence of Maradona to maximize the potential of La Pulga as well as the Albiceleste, he’d be the front-runner for the Ballon d’Or.

Messi is receiving his fair share of criticism but for the most part it is unwarranted since the Argentinean Football Federation has yet to install a manager who makes effective use of little Lionel’s sheer unlimited ability. A Bugatti engine is designed to carry a Bugatti not a Daihatsu.

Besides ever since breaking into the Ballon d’Or top three a couple of years ago, Messi has become a mainstay for the top honors which is further evidence to his credentials.

If anyone should win the Ballon d’Or it is Lionel Messi as he is and has been the best player in the world by quite some distance.

Lionel Messi