Stoichkov: No Ballon d'Or competition for Messi


Former Barcelona forward and two-time FIFA World Player of the Year runner-up Hristo Stoichkov believes there is no one capable of competing with Lionel Messi.

The Argentinean forward has enjoyed another stellar 12 months with Barcelona, helping the Spanish side to La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey titles and is tipped as the favourite to take out this year's Ballon d'Or award on Monday.

Stoichkov played for Barcelona in two separate stints and took out the European Footballer of the Year award in 1994, while also finishing runner-up in what is now known as the Ballon d'Or to Marco van Basten in 1992 and Romario in 1994.

The Bulgarian scored 118 goals in 254 appearances for Barcelona, and 38 in 84 appearances for his country.

"Messi no longer competes with anyone, he is a myth," Stoichkov told Barca TV.

"No one can doubt that Messi should win the Golden Ball. I think it's impossible that someone can overcome him.

"I doubt there will be another play liked Messi."

Stoichkov said that the only issue with this year's awards was that Messi's team-mate Luis Suarez was not among the final three - which is comprised of Neymar and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, alongside Messi.

Should Messi win the award it would be his fifth Ballon d'Or, having won it four years in a row between 2009 and 2012.