Messi not in the top three for the Ballon d’Or

Ernesto Valverde lets it be known would be an amazement if Lionel Messi passes up a place among the last three chosen people for the 2018 Ballon d’Or.

Reports rose in Spain this week to suggest France Football’s prize will go to Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, with Cristiano Ronaldo second and Antoine Griezmann third.

On the off chance that true, it would stamp the finish of Messi and Ronaldo’s 10-year strength of the honor and the first run through the Argentina star has not been in the last three since 2006.

Barcelona head mentor Valverde concurs it is abnormal to see the 31-year-old neglected to be perceived for his frame.

“Messi was the best player in the principal week, second week and fifth seven day stretch of the Champions League [this season],” he told a news gathering. “He more likely than not played truly severely in the third and fourth week, at that point… Ok, no, he was harmed!

“What would we be able to state? We can salute the players who are. It is somewhat weird, yet there you are.”

Barca continue their La Liga title safeguard on Sunday against Villarreal hoping to end a two-diversion winless run, yet ongoing wounds to Samuel Umtiti, Luis Suarez, Sergi Roberto, Rafinha and Arthur have left the squad looking extended.

Valverde plans to have Thomas Vermaelen and Arthur back to full wellness soon however would not preclude conceivable January signings to cover for the nonattendance of Umtiti.

“Until the point that the window tags along, we need to oblige what we have,” he said. “We’ll perceive how Samuel Umtiti’s damage creates and we trust he’ll return within the near future. We don’t generally know whether we’ll need to go to the market or not. There are numerous things we have to evaluate among from time to time. We’ll see. We have time.

“We need to characterize these things this month. We’re coming into January. Umtiti is by and large nearly observed yet we know there’s a winter exchange window coming up. We can hardly wait five months for a choice like that; we require a solid group. Be that as it may, we’re almost certain we’ll get Umtiti back before the finish of the season.

“It’s the most exceedingly awful thing to happen to a mentor since it’s something you can’t control. It appears a great deal of wounds have come in the meantime. Once in a while, they’re more spread out; some of the time they appear to occur on the double. It implies you’re quicker than any time in recent memory for the players to get over them. We just recovered a few players, as [Ivan] Rakitic, [Philippe] Coutinho, we ought to have others back in the blink of an eye.”

The amusement at Camp Nou will be Valverde’s 400th in La Liga as a head mentor, with the 54-year-old going looking for his 183rd win.

“It’s a great deal!” he said. “When you’re instructing, you don’t tally the diversions. It’s a round figure and a major one. It implies I’m most likely closer the end than the begin.”


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