Barcelona have endured a roller-coaster of a season and went from being overwhelming treble-favourites to what fans have deemed as ‘bottlers’. Under the captainship of Lionel Messi, the Catalan giants secured a consecutive La Liga title but failed to obtain glory in the UEFA Champions League and the Copa del Rey.
The Spanish champions succumbed to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals and crashed out of the competition despite having had a three-goal lead from the first leg of the fixture.
With a treble out of the picture, Barcelona were expected to, at least, complete a domestic double to make up for their European failure. However, Valencia established a shock 2-1 defeat over the Catalan titans on Saturday to become Copa del Rey champions this season.
Messi, who has enjoyed scintillating form this campaign, was at the centre of it all. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was expected to win a record sixth award for his performances throughout the season but his team’s failures have marred his achievements.
Much of the Ballon d’Or votes in recent years have been cast with major titles in mind and considering Messi’s European disappointment, some believe his chances at winning the prize have dipped.
Last year, the Argentine maestro finished fifth in the rankings behind the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and eventual winner Luka Modric.
Here, we take a look at Messi’s current season and the performances of last year’s top three players in the same campaign.
Messi in comparison with the 2018 Ballon d’Or top three in the 2018-19 season
Messi, who won the Pichichi trophy and the European Golden Shoe recently, boasts of having netted 51 goals and tallied 19 assists in all competitions and is far ahead of the 2018 Ballon d’Or top three players this campaign.
#3 Antoine Griezmann
Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann could not inspire his side to the Spanish title but did manage to help them to the UEFA Super Cup this season. Los Rojiblancos finished their domestic season in second place, 11 points away from champions Barcelona.
Griezmann netted 21 goals for the Madrid giants in all competitions, which is 30 goals away from Messi. In terms of assists, the Frenchman tallied 11, which is eight fewer than the Barcelona captain.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo enjoyed a decent debut season at new club Juventus, having helped the side to their eighth consecutive Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana. However, the Italian champions failed to secure their fifth consecutive Coppa Italia after they were eliminated by Atalanta in the quarter-finals of the competition.
The 34-year-old, who was named Serie A Player of the Year, has netted 28 goals for the Old Lady in all competitions, which is 23 less than Messi’s tally. The Portuguese also registered ten assists, which is nine fewer than his Argentine rival.
#1 Luka Modric
2018 Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric had endured a torrid time at the Bernabeu this term. After the departure of Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, Los Blancos fell into a downward spiral, crashing out of the Champions League and the Copa del Rey with no hopes in La Liga.
The midfielder netted a meagre four goals for the Madrid titans this season, which is 46 fewer than that of Messi. He also set up seven goals for his teammates, which is twelve fewer than the Barcelona star.