Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Sport | By

Lionel Messi: Juventus are 'clear favourites' to win the Champions League

Lionel Messi: Juventus are 'clear favourites' to win the Champions League

Lionel Messi has heaped pressure on arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo by claiming his new club Juventus are "clear favourites" to win the Champions League this season.

Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi, who is a five-time Ballon d'Or victor, missed out on a place in the top three.

"As to the rest, it's up to the public, the journalists, other managers, many people, so the decision will come out on the exact date and it will be announced".

Ronaldo won a third successive Champions League title with Real Madrid in 2017-18, finishing as top scorer in the competition and had Modric as a team-mate.

Both nations are taking part in the new tournament called the UEFA Nations League, which has been created to replace worldwide friendlies with more competitive matches and will include promotion and relegation. Messi, who had been consistent to the FIFA Awards for 12-years in a row, misses out for the first time since 2006. The Portuguese moved to Juventus in the summer after nine years in Madrid. The Liverpool star Saleh is the first-time finalist for this years' award with netting 44 goals all over and lifting his side to the Champions League finals as well.

Luka Modric also enjoyed a superb season for Real Madrid, helping the Galacticos with their Champions League triumph, and also the Croatia national team, in particular, helping his country reach the world cup final.

In an individual award, an individual's merit should be taken into consideration, with respect to the level of football played by the player.

"OK, Neymar will be there one day, (Mohamed) Salah deserves to be at the top three, Cristiano (Ronaldo) deserves to be at the top three".

Wales forward Gareth Bale's acrobatic effort for Real in the Champions League final is another on the list. Pep Guardiola of Manchester City was not shortlisted.

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