Mundo Deportivo claims that the Argentine has already been told of his win, even though the awards ceremony is on Monday, December 2, and that a team from France Football magazine travelled to Barcelona to tell the 32-year-old.
Messi is on a three-man shortlist for this year’s gong alongside his perennial rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.
Messi won the 10th La Liga title of his career last term, scoring 36 goals and providing 13 assists in 36 top-flight outings for Ernesto Valverde’s side.
But Van Dijk, the UEFA men’s player of the year, has a strong case for pipping Messi to the gong, having helped turn Liverpool into the continent’s outstanding team and winning the Champions League.
Ronaldo’s goalscoring heroics have continued since his move to Juventus, with whom he won Serie A last season. He also won the Nations League with Portugal.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe believes Messi deserves the award.
‘Messi. In individual terms, he was the best this year.’ said Mbappe when recently asked by German publication Der Spiegel who he thought would win the award.