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Lionel Messi says 16-year-old Barcelona prodigy will fight for Ballon d’Or

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Lionel Messi simply is the greatest player who has ever graced the football field. The Argentine ace’s career is a story worth idolising, and it peaked just over a year ago when he lifted the elusive FIFA World Cup.

His heroics for Barcelona, PSG and Argentina make him the holder of innumerable records, titles and accolades.

One of the most impressive of these records, which will perhaps never be broken, is his feat of winning the Ballon d’Or a staggering eight times.

Looking to the future

Messi is the current holder of the Ballon d’Or after lifting the title last year for his World Cup heroics. Now away from the spotlight in Europe, however, his time competing for the accolade is over.

In a recent interview with L’equioe, Messi was quizzed over who he saw competing for the Ballon d’Or in the coming years to which he named three players as top contenders.

“There may be a very beautiful rivalry in the coming years with players like Haaland, Mbappe, Vinicius, and many young players competing for the Ballon d’Or.”

Leo Messi holds an unbeatable 8-time-winning Ballon d’Or record.

However, he also raised the name of a fourth player who is just 16 years old and taking the breath away of football fans across the globe.

“I also think that Lamine Yamal, who is still very young and now plays for Barcelona, ​​will play a prominent role and fight for it in the future too,” added Leo, hailing the prodigal Yamal as a potential winner.

Nevertheless, Messi admitted that the crop of competitors would remain dynamic given the enormous pool of talent football has as it stands.

“Certainly there will be others competing for it, new players that we do not know will appear, because there are always new players, and I think it will be a very beautiful era to enjoy.”

A worthy successor

Lionel Messi etched an era in history by donning the #10 jersey with Barcelona. He will undoubtedly remain the team’s greatest player in history, let alone don the magical number.

Barcelona’s hunt for a worthy successor, thus, has been far from simple. Ansu Fati donned the iconic number 10 briefly but crumbled under the pressure and was ultimately forced to leave the club on loan.

Joan Laporta and Co. now eye the 16-year-old talent Yamal as the chosen one. They see him ready to take on the pressure and responsibility and boost the club’s jersey sales from a marketing standpoint as well.

Earlier this month, Yamal was given a standing ovation at the Santiago Bernabeu, a feat only three Barcelona players in history have been recipients of before him.

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