Former Manchester United right-back Antonio Valencia has lavished praise on Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forward Lionel Messi and believes the Argentine has the ability to win four more Ballon d’Or awards.
The 35-year-old is widely considered one of the greatest players in the history of football, thanks to his exploits for Spanish giants Barcelona and the Argentine national team.
The former Barcelona star has enjoyed an impressive start to the 2022-23 season. Former Manchester United star Antonio Valencia believes that the Argentine is capable of winning four more Ballon d’Or awards if he continues playing for another three or four years. As per Roy Nemer, Valencia said:
“Ask Messi how many more years he will play, if he says 3 or 4 more years you have to say: ‘Well, there are the 4 Ballon d’Ors’,” said Valencia.
Lionel Messi spent 17 seasons with Barcelona’s senior squad, scoring an incredible 672 goals and providing 303 assists in 778 appearances in all competitions. He helped the Catalan giants win 10 La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey, and four Champions League titles. He has scored 86 goals in 162 appearances for Argentina and helped his country with the 2008 Olympics and the 2021 Copa America.
He has won the European Golden Shoe award six times, and the Ballon d’Or a record seven times. The forward joined PSG on a free transfer after the expiration of his contract with Barcelona last summer. He endured a disappointing debut campaign with the French giants, scoring 11 goals in 34 appearances in all competitions.
Lionel Messi has scored three goals and provided two assists in PSG’s opening three Ligue 1 games this season. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner struggled to form a fruitful partnership with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe last season. However, the trio seem to be on the same wavelength and are firing on all cylinders this season.
Lionel Messi could struggle to win a Ballon d’Or if he is at PSG
Lionel Messi could struggle to compete for the Ballon d’Or award if he stays at PSG due to his current role at the Parc des Princes. The 35-year-old was the focal point of Barcelona’s attacking play during his time with the Spanish giants and currently plays a similar role for the Argentina national team.
However, he has to share the attention at PSG due to the presence of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. Lionel Messi has had to take on the role of a facilitator in order to get the best out of the Brazilian and the Frenchman.
Furthermore, Mbappe is seen as the Ligue 1 side’s main man and the future of the club. The 23-year-old was handed an incredible contract that will see him earn €50 million per year net and receive a signing bonus of €100 million as per The Guardian. He will also have a say in the club’s transfer business and major football-related decisions.