Messi deserves Ballon d'Or – Rivaldo

By Sports Desk July 10, 2019

Lionel Messi deserves to win the Ballon d'Or this year, according to Barcelona and Brazil great Rivaldo.

Messi enjoyed another stellar season for Barca, scoring 51 goals in all competitions as the Spanish giants claimed the LaLiga title.

However, they fell short in the Champions League and lost the Copa del Rey final, while Argentina could only clinch third place at the Copa America.

Despite that, Rivaldo believes Messi should be awarded an outright record sixth Ballon d'Or.

"In my opinion, the Ballon D'Or of this season is Messi for what he has done," the 1999 winner said, courtesy of Betfair.

"He didn't win the Champions League, but because it is an individual prize he scored a lot of goals, important goals."

Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have each won five Ballons d'Or, claiming the prize in every year since 2008 before Luka Modric ended their run in 2018.

Rivaldo hailed the superstar duo for their performances, saying: "They are such great players. I like them both.

"Messi always makes the difference at Barcelona and Ronaldo at every club and the national team – Juventus and Portugal.

"It's going to be thrilling again. When you talk about them it's for something good, they both score so many goals."

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    Contracted at Camp Nou until next year, Messi said he was happy in Barcelona, where he has spent his entire professional career.

    "I love Barcelona although I miss Rosario very much. This is my house, I was here longer than in Argentina," he told Mundo Deportivo. 

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    However, it has been a tumultuous period for Barcelona, who sacked Ernesto Valverde in January and have also endured off-field problems.

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    Messi said: "I really find it strange that something like this has happened, but they also said that there would be evidence.

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    According to reports, the charges stem from a single-car accident on January 20 last year.

    The reports, alleged to have come from the Attorney General’s office, said Mattocks and a passenger were aboard a BMW X6 from New York City to Cincinnati on State Route 70, near Monongahela, Pennsylvania, when the Reggae Boy lost control of the vehicle and crashed.

    According to those same reports, the insurance on the vehicle had lapsed at the time of the accident and Mattocks is alleged to have taken out a new policy hours after the accident before making a claim.

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    “I wouldn’t want to pre-empt a verdict because you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you defend a situation and it goes the other way, so everybody is awaiting the outcome,” said Simpson.

    The team manager also indicated that Mattocks was confident he would be vindicated when all was said and done.

    “When I spoke to him he was quite confident that he would be vindicated so we await,” said Simpson.

    The court case may have a very deleterious impact on Mattocks career in the MLS where he plays for FC Cincinnati.

    Other reports had suggested that Mattocks, who has scored just three goals in 21 appearances for Cincinnati, was at odds with the coach and, in essence, the franchise.

    “He also pointed out and we were aware that the relationship between himself and FC Cincinnati had been strained prior to this situation,” said Simpson, responding to reports that former Cincinnati coach, Ron Jans had said Mattocks was not in the team’s plans this season.

    “It is a fact that he had asked to be traded and this situation has put a hurdle in his way. Hopefully, he can get through it and then start playing again,” said Simpson.

    Mattocks is being represented by David J Shrager, who has pointed to Mattocks record of being a law-abiding citizen as part proof that the situation is just a misunderstanding.

    Mattocks is a veteran of eight years in the MLS, playing in 207 league games and scoring 40 goals for Vancouver Whitecaps, Portland Timbers, and DC United, before his move to Cincinnati.

    Mattocks has also turned out for the Reggae Boyz 45 times, scoring 15 goals along the way.

    “My client respects both the laws of both his native country [Jamaica] and the United States. He has never been in any kind of criminal trouble whatsoever in his life, and this matter is merely a misunderstanding regarding insurance laws here in Pennsylvania. We look forward to clearing up this matter. We have been cooperating with the courts and continue to do so. We look forward to resolving this matter expeditiously,” read a statement from Shrager’s office.

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