Oops he did it again; Lionel Messi has received the Ballon d’Or for the second year in a row. Although he is widely regarded to be the best player in the world, by quite some distance, La Pulga was considered the outsider for the prestigious award.
In recent times the winner of the FIFA World Cup tournament produced the Ballon d’Or recipients Fabio Cannavaro (2006), Ronaldo (2002) and Zidane (1998).
Therefore it was safe to assume that either Xavi or Andres Iniesta would win football’s biggest individual prize. Either of these men would’ve become only the second Spanish player to ever win the Ballon d’Or, after Luis Suarez in 1960. Coincidentally, Suarez also happened to be a Barca player then.
Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve…it just wasn’t meant to be. Xavi & Iniesta are football superstars but Lionel Messi is a Supernova—he just shines brighter than anyone.
But what if Xavi and Iniesta weren’t teammates with Lionel Messi? What if he had different teammates?
Let’s assume for a moment the dynamic duo of Xavi and Iniesta would not ply their trade for FC Barcelona —I know, a truly horrific thought—but could there be others who could develop a just as strong understanding with Lionel Messi? Since this is, more or less, fantasy football, let’s meet the five candidates who could exploit the talents of little Lionel even more.