Take it with a pinch of salt, but the Ballon d'Or winner has apparently been leaked online.
According to Catalan outlet Diario Gol, the award, voted by journalists through France Football, will go to Lionel Messi instead of arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo scored 51 goals in all competitions last season for Real Madrid, helping his side win the Champions League and captaining Portugal as they went all the way to lift the trophy in Euro 2016.
Messi scored ten goals less with a total of 41 as Barcelona won La Liga. However it's the Barcelona man who is leading the way in goals this season; Messi has scored 15 goals in all competitions compared to Ronaldo's seven. It appears that the Argentine will pick up the award, if the Catalan daily paper are to be believed.
However it's the Barcelona man who is leading the way in goals this season; Messi has scored 15 goals in all competitions compared to Ronaldo's seven.
The Ballon d'Or award will return to its old format after the joint FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d'Or award that was awarded to winners between 2009 and 2015 was separated, meaning Ronaldo is in the frame for some silverware in the form of the FIFA World Player of the Year award if he doesn't take home the Ballon d'Or for a fourth time.
The FIFA World Player of the Year award will be decided by votes from national team managers, captains, players and fans alike, as opposed to the current version of the Ballon D'Or where journalists across Europe have the sole say. The 23-man shortlist is expected to be announced tomorrow.
(h/t Sports Keeda)