Messi Ends GOAT Discussion

Argentine footballer Lionel Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Or award on Dec. 6 and broke the tie of 5 with Portuguese rival Cristiano Ronaldo. The Ballon d’ Or recognizes the best player of the year and earns players bragging rights as to who achieved more in personal terms. Messi previously won the award in 2009,  2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. 

Messi has always been the main topic of a typical sports bar argument as to whether he can be recognized as the greatest player of all time, or “GOAT.” The downfall of Messi receiving the GOAT title is that he has never won an International trophy with his country Argentina. Messi won an Olympic gold medal, but it is not considered a “senior team” achievement. Messi also lost the World Cup final in 2014 with Argentina, where he was the favorite to many. These individual awards are measured by personal achievements, where even if Barcelona fails, Messi triumphs.

The go to player that some call the GOAT is Brazilian legend Pele, who won three World Cups. The thing is Pele never made the jump to European soccer, which is where the best soccer leagues in the world are at. Everyone soccer player wants to play European soccer as it has the best players, the best salaries and most successful club teams in international tournaments. Messi played his whole career in Europe despite being born in Argentina, and has achieved many feats with Spanish giants FC Barcelona. These include: 10 La Liga trophies and four Uefa Champions League trophies in Europe. 

Messi also beat Ronaldo this year by winning The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the year for 2019.  Awards can mean one thing, but participation inside the field means another and Messi does both. Messi scored the most goals in a single season in Europe and the most goals in the last Champions League to earn the 2019 Golden Shoe Award, beating Ronaldo. Messi also overcame Ronaldo this past Saturday in most hat tricks in the Spanish La Liga league. Messi is enroute to keep winning the same awards next season as he is currently in first place in his league and his on field performances are second to none. Performance wise, no other player puts the team on his shoulders and closes them out.