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Lionel Messi finishes fifth in Ballon d’Or

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The Argentine star misses the podium

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Lionel Messi has finished fifth in France Football’s Ballon d’Or vote. The Argentine and Barcelona star will miss the podium, finishing outside the top three for the first time since 2006.

“The award loses value if Messi isn’t there,” said World Cup-winning coach Vicente del Bosque. ”I am not a believer in the Ballon d’Or. it is very strange to me that Messi is not among the three finalists. To such an extent that I cannot believe it.”

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde also called the decision “strange.”

Messi’s absence from the podium had long been rumored and an early leak has been proven right so far today, with all players correctly predicted.

It still did not assuage fans of the player, who considered the placement an insult.