Lionel Messi feels his Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez should have made the three-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi and his Barcelona team-mate Neymar were on Monday named, alongside Real Madrid’s Ronaldo, as the three contenders for the 2015 prize.
Barcelona ‘s ‘MSN’ smashed 125 goals between them over the last calendar year, more than any other team.
And Messi feels Barcelona should have had a hat-trick of contenders with his fellow forward Suarez also worthy of a place on the podium at the glitzy awards ceremony in Zurich on January 11.
He said: “I’d have liked to be on [the] Ballon d’Or podium with Neymar and Luis. Luis deserved it, but Cristiano also did well. We’ll have a good time.”
Messi is favourite to scoop a fifth Ballon d’Or, and Neymar has backed his team-mate to pip Ronaldo to the gong.
The Brazilian said: “Suarez should have been there too, but Messi is favourite, he’s the number one for me.
“Secret of MSN? Friendship and modesty. Leo and Luis are great friends, I hope to play with them for a long time, there are no egos.”
The pair were speaking at Monday night’s La Liga awards where Barcelona dominated after their treble-winning campaign.
Barca picked up five of the prizes, while rivals Real Madrid won two.
La Liga 2014-15 winners
Best Player: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Best Coach: Luis Enrique (Barcelona)
Best Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo (Barcelona)
Best Defender: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Best midfielder: James Rodríguez (Real Madrid)
Best Forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Best American Player: Neymar (Barcelona)
Best African Player: Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia)
Jugador Cinco Estrellas de la Aficion: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)