“The greatest of all time” read the headline in Spanish sports daily Marca. Below it, images of all of Lionel Messi’s four FIFA Ballon d’Or awards.
As a staunchly pro-Real Madrid paper, the splash was not without significance. Given Messi wears the colours of the enemy, Marca’s default response to the Argentinian phenom’s exploits previously has either been an indifferent shrug, a bitter complaint or even blatant attempts to rob him of his success – refusing him goals they deemed to have taken the slightest of deflections, for example.
Messi’s 41.6% of the votes made him the first player in history to win the Ballon d’Or award four years in a row, only further cementing the 25-year-old’s legacy as he dribbles, shimmies and feints his way skilfully towards the title of ‘best player ever.’ Not even Marca could resist superlatives. The above image, provided by @teammessi on Twitter, captures the majesty of Messi in his fourth consecutive year of gold.
The best there ever was?