Gerardo Martino believes that Lionel Messi is still the best player in the world, even though Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or, and pay per head sportsbooks can see that the coach just won’t give up on the Barcelona superstar.
Pay per head sportsbooks saw that Messi’s monopoly on the Ballon d’Or came to an end on Tuesday, as Real Madrid forward Ronaldo was awarded the prize in Zurich.
For four years in a row, Messi, 26-years-old and a favourite with pay per head sportsbooks, held the mantle of the top player in the planet, as in 2009 he won the now-defunct FIFA World Player of the Year trophy before clinching three straight Ballons d’Or after the governing body merged its award in 2010 with France Football.
However, price per head services saw that Messi was set back by injuries in 2013, and this time around he had to settle for second place on the podium after the award was given to Ronaldo, who last year scored 69 goals for Real and Portugal.
But while he recognised Ronaldo’s exceptional form, Barca coach Martino still believes that Messi should be recognised as superior, and pay per head sportsbooks don’t really know what to think.
“(We) congratulate Cristiano Ronaldo, the Ballon d’Or is the recognition of a year,” he said.
“(But) one thing is a player rewarded for one year, and (another) is being the best in the world – and we have got the best here.”
Pay per head sportsbooks saw that the Argentina captain returned to action after being out for two months with a hamstring problem in last week’s 4-0 Copa del Rey victory over Getafe, as he came off the bench and scored a late brace.
And Argentine coach Martino confirmed that Messi “completely recovered” from the injury and on Thursday could return to the starting XI in their tie’s second leg.
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Martino also said that Neymar is completely fit following a bout of the flu, but decided that for the trip to Coliseum Alfonso Perez he would rest the likes of Andres Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, and Iniesta.