No one was surprised in the slightest when Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo were chosen as two of the three finalists for the FIFA Ballon d'Or "Player of the Year" title. After all, each striker had a remarkably successful run in 2014, and both have been the biggest stars in soccer for roughly half a decade now. The only question was this which one of them would take the award? Would the Barcelona Messi shirt again be associated with the best name in football? Or would Real Madrid's "Sultan of Stepover" clinch a second consecutive title?

Ultimately, Real Madrid's Cristiano was named the best soccer player on the planet. However, that fact shouldn't be discouraging for fans of Barca. Lionel Messi was named the runner-up for the title for the second season in a row. And since the Argentine forward also won the Golden Ball at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it's tough to ask for more. Root for the great Lionel today by picking up a new Messi Barcelona away jersey 2014 2015 (or home shirt) at the Soccer Box online store!

Messi Barcelona Jersey

The Ballon d'Or

The Ballon d'Or prize, or the Golden Ball, was first introduced in 2010, a rebranding of the FIFA Player of the Year Award that had previously honored the best in football. Since its inception, Messi and Ronaldo have been the only soccer stars to even win the annual Golden Ball, and that trend continued. Not even a strong surge of support for third-placer, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich, could break the love for these two offensive stars.

As fans in the away Barcelona Messi shirt probably already know, the Barca third captain has already won FIFA's top prize on four occasions. The first came in 2009, when the honor was still branded simply as the Player of the Year. He then won it three more times consecutively in 2010, 2011, and 2012-after the name change.

In 2013, Ronaldo claimed the award, and now, he's done it again for 2014. Lionel was the runner-up for the prize in each of those years. Cristiano also won the football honor before Lionel did, edging out the Argentine-as well as Spain's Fernando Torres-in 2008.

An Intense Rivalry

So who's the better footballer of these two titans of the sport? Which one is more likely to go down in history as the greatest to ever play the game?

At this point, the scales have got to tilt in favor of the man who wears the Messi Barcelona away jersey 2014 2015 during the regular season. For one thing, he's won the Ballon d'Or more times: Ronaldo's 2014 win brings him to three trophies. (Though the Portuguese star could obviously tie the record in 2015.)

Additionally, Messi has been a top-three finalist on more occasions. The two men were first named finalists for the Golden Ball in 2007, but while Messi has been nominated each year since, Ronaldo missed a nomination in 2010.

Even looking beyond FIFA's top annual honor, fans in the Barcelona Messi shirt probably have the bragging rights. Lionel has won a Golden Ball at the World Cup; Cristiano has not. Messi has led Barcelona to six league victories; Ronaldo has led Real Madrid to four. Lionel has the world record for most goals in a single association football season, with 73; Cristiano is tied for 10th, with 60.

Still, even with these statistics tilting in favor of Argentina's greatest football star, it's easy to see why both men are widely regarded as crown jewels of the game. Football fans in either the Messi Barcelona away jersey 2014 2015 or the Real Madrid home shirt have chosen well.

Show your support for the world's (second?) greatest modern footballer! Stop by Soccer Box today and pick up a brand new Barcelona Messi shirt. We have these person-specific kits in home jersey and away shirt design variations, so pick whichever one you like best. Or pick both!