Barcelona coach, Ernesto Valverde has reacted to reports suggesting that captain, Lionel Messi will miss out on a place in the 2018 Ballon d’Or top-three final list.
Sky Sports Italia had earlier reported that Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann are the players that will make the three-man final list ahead of Messi.
Reacting to Messi’s supposed exclusion from this year’s Europe topflight individual prize, Valverde said it would be strange for the Argentine international not to make the three-man final list.
“Messi was the best player in the first week, second week and fifth week of the Champions League [this season],” Valverde was quoted by FourFourTwo as saying ahead of Barca’s La Liga clash with Villarreal on Sunday.
“He must have played really badly in the third and fourth week, then… Ah, no, he was injured!
“What can we say? We can congratulate the players who are. It is a little bit strange, but there you are.”
Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the award for ten years now.
The pair had won an incredible five awards each, with Ronaldo equaling Messi’s tally last year.
The 2018 Ballon d’Or award ceremony will take place on Monday night in Paris.