Messi fails to make top three of Goal 50 for second year in a row

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The Argentine scored freely for Barcelona over the past year but he has paid for his team's failure to win either La Liga or the Champions League

Lionel Messi has again failed to make the top three in the Goal 50, with the Barcelona ace finishing in fourth place for the second consecutive year.

Messi's great rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, retained top spot in our annual vote, which both recognises and ranks the world's 50 best footballers of the preceding 12 months.

As a result, the Real Madrid superstar now has five Goal 50 awards, moving him one clear of Messi, who last lifted the trophy in 2015.

Messi 15/4 UCL top scorer

Gianluigi Buffon racked up his highest-ever Goal 50 finish to claim second place, after leading Juventus to another domestic double last season, as well as the final of the Champions League.

Ronaldo's club-mate Luka Modric also claimed a career-best third place, reward for his masterful performances in the Madrid midfield as Zinedine Zidane's men won both the European Cup and La Liga in the same campaign for the first time since 1958.

Ronaldo, of course, was pivotal in that regard, netting 42 times in 46 appearances in all competitions. However, while the only major trophy that Messi managed to win last season was the Copa del Rey, he did outscore his great rival.

Messi scored 54 goals in just 52 games and, given that he has made a sensational start to the current campaign, the 30-year-old would appear well placed to break back into the Goal 50 top three next season.

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The Goal 50, which was conceived in 2008, is voted on by chief editors and correspondents from Goal's 37 editions around the world, with candidates judged on their level of consistency over the previous year of action, their big-game performances, footballing legacy and the success of their teams at both club and international level.



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