Messi fails to make top three of Goal 50 for first time in history

The Argentine helped deliver a domestic double for Barcelona in 2015-16, but he fell short in the Champions League and Copa America and finishes fourth in our voting

GOAL 50

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has failed to make the top three of the Goal 50 rankings for the first time since the award was created in 2008. 

The Argentine had been a fixture on the podium for the first eight editions of the Goal 50, winning the prize in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. 

Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez? Click here to see the countdown of the 50 best players in the world in the 2016 Goal 50

This year, however, he was forced to take a backseat as voters relegated him to fourth position overall behind winner Cristiano Ronaldo, second placed Luis Suarez and bronze medallist Antoine Griezmann.

Messi was predictably impressive throughout 2016, forming a lethal MSN trio with Suarez and Neymar to take Barcelona to the Liga and Copa del Rey double. 

But he failed to deliver success in Europe, as Diego Simeone's dogged Atletico Madrid knocked the Catalans out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage. 

And there was more disappointment in the international arena for the diminutive No. 10. 

Having been in stellar form throughout the Copa America Centenario, Messi's quest for a first senior title with Argentina stalled in the final against Chile, as the man himself erred from the spot in another shoot-out defeat. 

Few would write off La Pulga, though, who will surely be back and raring to reclaim his Goal 50 title next year as Barca chase glory on all three fronts once again.