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After a saga where he wanted to leave in the transfer window, it took Messi until November to score his first open play goal of the season after 1027 minutes of action.
If Messi started the season slowly, then Barcelona on the whole were doing 5mph on the motorway. With 20 games played, the Blaugrana were eleven points behind leaders Atletico Madrid and not playing particularly well in Ronald Koeman's early months.
Fast forward to April and Barca are still third in the league but if they win their game in hand, the Catalan side will move to the top of the table by one point.
The three-way title race looks set to be unbelievably tense in the final stretch but if Barca are able to add La Liga to the Copa Del Rey trophy they collected just over a week ago, plenty feel Messi would be the deserving recipient for the most coveted individual award in football.
Messi inspiring this potentially historical LaLiga comeback is enough to secure him his Seventh Ballon d'Or. pic.twitter.com/6KrIllrprN- MC (@CrewsMat19) April 25, 2021
A short story... never doubt Messi :goat: pic.twitter.com/Ba7kwiThjw- J. (@MessiIizer) April 25, 2021
Messi leading us to possibly the greatest comeback in LaLiga history... Incredible redemption arc from Barca. pic.twitter.com/5n69teHz0c- :flag_mx: (@FutbolFax) April 25, 2021
Lionel Messi's 7th Ballon d'Or loading........- Mazi Olisaemeka C. :tm: (@OlisaOsega) April 26, 2021
In 33 games, he's scored 25 goals and registered 21 assists - the majority of his goal contributions coming in a sublime 2021.
Lionel Messi's "Worst Season"- :full_moon: ➐ (@dondapabagged) April 26, 2021
:stadium:️ 33 Games
:soccer: 25 Goals
:athletic_shoe: 21 Assists
Lionel Messi's "Ballon D'or Worthy Season"
:stadium:️ 30 Games
:soccer: 25 Goals
:athletic_shoe: 9 Assists
Taking centre stage as per usual, yesterday's win against Villarreal was the first game he hadn't won the Man of the Match award this year.
His consistency has been remarkable and he's not exactly playing in a great Barca side compared to previous years.
So much for his levels dropping and Messi being "out of form"...
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