Lionel Andrés Messi: Five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
The greatest of all time continues to grow his legend.
On Monday night, the football world celebrated the greatness that is Leo, as the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2015 was awarded to the Argentine. Messi received 41.33% of the vote, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo's 27.76% and Neymar's 7.86%.
While it isn't surprising that Leo won, I must admit I am surprised that Neymar got only 7.86%. This is the man that scored in each leg of the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, semifinals, and sealed the CL Final win with a goal. Neymar was instrumental in Barcelona's success last season, and to get only 7.86% of votes is ridiculous.
Meanwhile, a trophy-less, disappearing-in-big-matches Ronaldo got nearly 28% of the votes.
Obviously, it would have been great to have seen Luis Suarez at the gala. He deserved to be there as a nominee and/or award winner, but I'm sure Suarez will be at next year's gala.
Messi not winning the Puskas award was not a surprise, as Wendell Lira's goal had the overwhelming support and online vote of many Brazilians, along with help from social media campaigns to help said goal win.
No surprise Luis Enrique won the FIFA World Coach of the Year. It's incredible to think that a year ago, we — myself included — were asking for Lucho's departure. A year later, Lucho is winning the biggest award in his profession. Grande Lucho!
Luis Enrique named FIFA Coach of the Year for 2015 https://t.co/NdMGhmWahv #BallondOr pic.twitter.com/fexuMpwNdE— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 11, 2016
Leo Messi's greatness was praised on social media:
Lionel Messi, 5-time Ballon d'Or winner! Congratulations, Leo! #MESSI5 #ballondor pic.twitter.com/WC6Xx07e9v— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 11, 2016
We believe in dreams. Thanks Leo! #Messi5 https://t.co/P70grUuwxg— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 11, 2016
#Messi5 2015 > #BallondOr 2012 > #BallondOr 2011 > #BallondOr 2010 > #BallondOr 2009 > #BallondOr— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 11, 2016
Leo had a message for all after receiving his award:
Screen cap: Messi on Facebook #fcblive [leomessi] pic.twitter.com/8eSgfzHsYi— barcastuff (@barcastuff) January 11, 2016
World XI controversy?
While Messi and Lucho winning awards wasn't a surprise, the biggest controversy might be with the World XI of 2015, and it has to do with players from Barcelona's eternal rival, Real Madrid.
Luka Modric, Marcelo and Sergio Ramos in the World XI? For me, it's downright idiotic. How can you put Modric over someone like his countryman Ivan Rakitic? Marcelo? What did he do that was so special in 2015 — other than celebrate a non-existent goal in the Champions League semifinal. Sergio Ramos is a very good defender, let's be honest. But was he better than Gerard Piqué in 2015? I'd say no.
I understand that the World XI can't all be FC Barcelona players. But to put in players that not only didn't have shining moments in the year or even win a title shows you that players voting for other players has its obvious flaws.
Infographic: World XI of 2015 #fcblive [fifpro] pic.twitter.com/Ns08YjszV0— barcastuff (@barcastuff) January 12, 2016
Watch: Messi's 5th Ballon d'Or and World XI controversy?
Watch my friend at TYT Sports, Francis Maxwell, give you his take on the Ballon d'Or and the World XI issue. Francis makes some great points about Luis Suarez's absence, the lack of Sergio Busquets in the team, should Real Madrid players have been voted to the team despite having a bad year, and why more players from other clubs like Bayern Munich and Juventus weren't in the team alongside Paul Pogba (nice that he took his grandmother's sofa to make his suit for the gala) and Manuel Neuer.
Watch the video now:
Picture: Messi at Ballon d'Or gala #fcblive [via @iniestaism] pic.twitter.com/KvmCCZbhXB— barcastuff (@barcastuff) January 12, 2016