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What happened to the four players Lionel Messi named his biggest rivals in 2018

A LOOK BACK: In 2018 Lionel Messi was working towards winning a sixth Ballon d’Or and was asked to name the played he believed could beat him to the prestigious prize

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Lionel Messi is a magician on a football pitch and has won an unprecedented six Ballon d’Or trophies as well countless other accolades.

But the Barcelona legend has reached the age of 33 and his career at the very top will shortly be winding down and coming to an end.

Messi appears aware of this fact more than most, and when, in 2018, he was asked to name the players he believes are hot on his heels – and more than capable of beating him to that year’s Ballon d’Or – the Argentine named four individuals.

“There are many great players around today who can win the Ballon d’Or,” Messi told WorldSoccer Magazine in 2018. “In recent years there have just been two, but now players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Luis Suarez can compete.”

(Image: ALESSANDRO DI MARCO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

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