Lionel Messi has been voted as the second best player in La Liga this season – with Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema taking top spot.
The Barcelona captain has enjoyed a strong season individually, winning the Pichichi Trophy after netting 25 goals while also grabbing 21 assists, the most in a single La Liga season.
But Barcelona failing to defend the title has seen readers of Spanish publication Marca opt to give the best player award to Benzema.
Benzema scored 21 goals for ‘Los Blancos’ as they marched to their first La Liga crown in three years and he earned 37% of the votes compared to Messi’s 31%.
10. Diego Carlos (Sevilla) – 1%
9. Gerard Moreno (Villarreal) – 1%
8. Martin Odegaard (Real Sociedad, on loan from Real Madrid) – 2%
7. Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid) – 2%
6. Santi Cazorla (Villarreal) – 3%
5. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – 4%
4. Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla) – 4%
3. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) – 14%
2.Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 31%
1.Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) – 37%
Below Benzema and Messi is Madrid captain Sergio Ramos who has helped carry Zinedine Zidane’s side alongside Benzema.
Ramos broke the record for most goals from a La Liga defender this century when he netted his 11th of the season against Leganes at the weekend.
The only other player from the champions to feature on the list is goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois while no Barcelona player stars alongside Messi.
Lucas Ocampos and Jan Oblak round off the top five while Santi Cazorla’s final campaign in Europe sees him sixth.
It has been a less than vintage La Liga season but Messi was still frustrated with his side’s failure to defend the title.
Following a 2-1 defeat to Osasuna last week which confirmed Madrid champions, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner admitted his side had been “weak and erratic.”
The 33-year-old stated per Daily Mail: “This game represents the entire year. We have been an erratic and weak team.
“Madrid did its part by winning all its matches, which is impressive, but we also helped them to win this league. We have to be critical of how we have played, starting with the players, and the rest of the club.
“We have lost because of our mistakes and not because of Madrid’s successes, as many say.
“The feeling on this team is that it tries, but that it cannot get the job done. Today in the first half they were better than we were and it seems we have to fall behind to react like we tried to do in the second half.”
“We are going to have to change a lot if we want to do something…”