Messi is one of 30 players nominated for the 2019 Ballon d’Or, presided over by France Football, and the winner will be officially announced in Paris on 2 December.
Messi is among the favourites alongside the likes of Virgil van Dijk, whom he beat to the FIFA award, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Cristiano Ronaldo.
But with votes submitted to France Football earlier this month, it has been claimed that Messi has now already been informed that he has won, a week ahead of the ceremony.
Francesc Aguilar of Mundo Deportivo tweeted on Monday afternoon that an unnamed Ballon d’Or winner has been told he has won. That player is said to have celebrated in private, and they will get their hands on the golden trophy for real next Monday.
Curiously, Messi then soon posted a video on Instagram in conjunction with Otro, in which he was shown with his five other Ballon d’Or trophies from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
The video could be a coincidence given that the ceremony is coming up anyway and Messi is a nominee, but there is now a suggestion from Mundo Deportivo (MD) on Tuesday morning that there could actually be more to it.
France Football usually interviews the winner ahead of handing out the Ballon d’Or so that the player can then be on the cover of the new magazine for the week of the ceremony. It is why Cristiano Ronaldo's win in 2016 was known a few hours ahead of time because the leaked France Football cover made its way onto social media.
MD claims to have learned that a magazine team from France Football has travelled to Barcelona for the purpose of interviewing Messi. MD then consulted the player’s entourage, who neither confirmed nor denied meeting with France Football.