Barcelona: FC Barcelona's talismanic forward Lionel Messi believes his teammate Luis Suarez deserves to be in the final three contending for this year's 'World Footballer of the Year', the Ballon d'Or award.
Lionel Messi. Pic/AFP
Messi was named along with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and fellow Barcelona attacker Neymar as the finalists for the coveted prize on Monday, which meant that Suarez could not be fitted in.
"I'd have liked to be on Ballon d'Or podium with Ney (Neymar) and Luis," Messi was quoted as saying by goal.com on Tuesday.
"Luis deserved it, but Cristiano did as well -- we'll have a good time (at the FIFA gala)," he said at the La Liga awards where he collected three prizes including the best player and top forward.
"I'd like to dedicate this award to my son, Thiago. When I leave home, he always gets mad and says, "Are you going to the goal again?" "Yes, I tell him, I'm going to the goal!"
"I am grateful for these awards -- after the season the team played, we deserved some recognition, maybe even a little more..." he said.
Neymar too echoed Messi's sentiment saying that Suarez should also have been on the final three for the Ballon d’Or.
"Being nominated for the Ballon d'Or means a lot," Neymar said. "Suarez should have been there as well, though -- but Messi is the favourite, he's the number one for me."