With 2018 The Best FIFA Men's Player set to be announced next month, a high-profile football personality has explained why he believes FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi deserves the accolade more than Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo does.
LaLiga commentator, award-winning author and journalist Graham Hunter has interviewed many of the world's most popular footballers, including the likes of Messi, Ronaldinho, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas, among others.
Soccer Laduma caught up with the Scotsman to discuss which players impressed him the most over the past season, and he went into great detail with his answer.
Hunter insisted that Messi is still the best in the world, and is definitely more deserving of The Best FIFA Men's Player prize than Ronaldo, who had a poor start to the 2017/18 campaign.
"Lionel Messi remains the best footballer on the planet by a margin of immense distance for almost every reason," he told Soccer Laduma (you can read the full interview in this week's newspaper, issue 1084).
"Not just for individual technical ability, but his performance, leadership, team play and ability to carry a team.
"The argument that can be given to him, and not by Cristiano Ronaldo, because Cristiano's high registers were incredible again and compensated for, you know, for a half year where it was impossible to recognise him.
"If we're talking about the guy who pound for pound this season merits it, then to say Cristiano would be false. He merits the fact that he and Real Madrid made history and won the Champions League again.
"And if you look beyond him, even if he didn't score in the final, you're looking the wrong way. But until January, February, you were scratching your head and wondering where's his touch gone, where's his timing gone, where's his confidence gone, and when you strip those away, because he's slightly different now physically at that age, and in terms of his participation in overall play, would you give him that award?"
Messi scored 45 goals and assisted a further 18 strikes in 54 matches for Barca last season, while Ronaldo struck 44 times and set up eight goals in 44 games for Real in the same campaign.
You can read our double feature on Ronaldo's sensational move to Juventus, why he opted to leave and why he chose the Serie A side, in this week's issue of Soccer Laduma, edition 1084.