Why Messi missed the UEFA Award nomination again

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 18: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou on August 18, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Let’s talk about the main reasons why Leo Messi has been absent from the UEFA Award nominations for best player of the year for the third year in a row.

It seems odd to think about Leo Messi not being part of the UEFA Award nominations for best player of the year, but this Monday we missed his name amongst the players up for the prize again. It’s been three consecutive years for the Argentine player since his last nomination, this can be alarming for many because some may think that he is not in his best form anymore. But things are not as simple as that, there is always a gray area when it comes to this specific award, Leo Messi hasn’t been nominated for this award due to a number of reasons we are about to explain here. But the obvious reason is that FC Barcelona is far from being the top club they were back in 2015 when they won their second treble in history, this is hardly Leo Messi’s fault even if many of his haters want to leave all the responsibility to him. The Argentine has kept playing the same level of football for the last decade, the difference is that the Champions League has become more competitive in the last five years.

Barcelona falling early in the competition.

Even if Leo Messi has scored many goals in La Liga during the last couple of seasons, the reality is that Barcelona has not been able to reach the level that brought them to the very top in Europe since Xavi Hernandez left the club. This doesn’t mean that the Catalan midfielder is the only reason the club has been eliminated in quarterfinals by Atletico Madrid in 2016, Juventus in 2017, and finally AS Roma earlier this year. Leo Messi has been relatively quiet during these specific matches, where he hasn’t been able to make the impact that people would usually expect from a player of his status. We also have to give the other teams a lot of credit, because they have been able to stop the Catalan club with Messi included in every one of those matches. Leo isn’t included in the list of nominees for the UEFA Player of the Year Award precisely because this is a continental competition and he didn’t get far in it.

Real Madrid v Barcelona - Copa del Rey Final

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The 2019 Copa del Rey Final will take place at Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville, as Barcelona and Valencia go head-to-head for the trophy on Saturday night.

Rivals already know how to play against Messi.

Unless he is in top form which does happen quite often, other clubs have discovered that the best way to prevent Messi from scoring any goals is to keep him as far away as possible from the box. There are squads that don’t have midfield players who own their own are capable of dealing with Leo, which is why they usually get more than one player to get behind him and not even let him breathe. But during this World Cup for example, Lionel Messi had to play against Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kanté when Argentina played against France and the Barcelona player hardly ever smelled the ball. There were even times when Messi got the ball with his back against the box, and Kante never let him turn around to face the defenders. That is the way to stop Lionel, he gets desperate very quickly and ends up losing the ball when the pressure is too strong against him.

He might also get snubbed in the Ballon d’Or this season.

Now that we know for sure that Messi won’t be part of the UEFA Awards, it looks like this could also be the first time in the last decade where the Argentine gets snubbed in the Ballon d’Or ceremony as one of the nominees. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Champions League season was more than enough for him to at least get a spot on the podium, but France Football won’t let the opportunity to honor a Frenchman this year after Les Bleus won the World Cup during the summer. We also see no reason why they shouldn’t include Luka Modric among the final three players to get the award, the only doubt is which French player will get the nomination alongside CR7 and the Croatian captain. But yes, this will most likely be the first season in which Messi is not featured in any individual award for 2018, apart from the Golden Boot of course. The Barcelona star is already looking forward to the new season, he knows that this could be a good one given all the new faces in his club and he won’t let this opportunity to win all the trophies pass like he has done for the last three years.

Do you think Messi will also get snubbed for the 2018 Ballon d’Or? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.


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