Two of our 55 voters did not award the Argentine a single point as he finished behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Gigi Buffon and Luka Modric
Lionel Messi finished fourth in the 2017 Goal 50 thanks in no small part to the fact that he failed to receive even a single point off two of our voters.
The Barcelona and Argentina attacker has won the annual award – which both recognises and ranks the world’s 50 best footballers of the preceding 12 months – on four previous occasions (2015, 2013, 2011, 2009) and has received more votes than any other player since its inception in 2008.
Chief editors and correspondents from Goal’s 37 editions around the world cast their votes, with candidates judged on their level of consistency, big-game performances, footballing legacy and the success of their teams at both club and international level. Each one of the 55 voters was asked to pick their top 25 players, with 25 points awarded to first place, 24 to second and so on in descending order. All of the individual tallies were then totted up to give us the final list of 50.
This year, both our Thai edition and APAC editor Bima Said decided against including Messi in their selections altogether, while the 30-year-old attacker only ranked 18th for Singapore, and 15th in India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Mexico.
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Furthermore, Messi, who scored 54 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions last season, was only awarded four first-place finishes, by Chile, Kenya, South Africa and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Argentina.
Messi was ranked second by 12 voters but even our Barcelona correspondent, Ignasi Oliva, placed the Blaugrana No.10 behind Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who received maximum points from 50 of our 55 voters to record a landslide win.
As a result, Messi ultimately ended up in fourth place, for the second consecutive year, finishing behind Italy goalkeeping icon Gianluigi Buffon, who led Juventus past Barca on their run to the Champions League final, and Madrid playmaker Luka Modric, the man who masterminded Real’s sensational second-half showing in Cardiff.