World of Sport

Messi finishes only third in Argentina’s SPOTY

Lionel Messi has enjoyed an incredible year, scoring a simply astonishing 90 goals during 2012 which - as we pointed out earlier in the week - is more than the entire Liverpool team.

You would think they would be immensely proud of the Barcelona star in his native Argentina but amazingly he has only managed to finish third in their most prestigious end of season sports award.

The "Olimpia de Oro" is the closest things the Argentinians have to the BBC Sports Personality Award, although it is voted for by sports journalists as opposed to the general public.

They voted boxer Sergio Martinez as their top Argentine athlete for 2012 after he defended his WBC middleweight title with a big victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Messi did not even come second. Instead that honour went to Sebastian Crismanich, the taekwondo fighter who won Argentina's only gold medal at the London Olympics.

Messi came in third place in the voting.

As our friends at sister site Dirty Tackle point out: "Messi won the award in 2011, so this could have simply been a case of journalists wanting to recognise other athletes' great achievements. But being more appreciated abroad than in his homeland is nothing new for Lionel.

"The criticism that has dogged him throughout his career has been that he doesn't play as well for Argentina as he does for Barcelona. This year, however, his performances have started to refute that claim. He scored 12 goals in nine appearances for Argentina -- twice as many as his previous best calendar year (and in five fewer matches) -- as they top the (Brazil-exempt) CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying table."

Fair play to Martinez and Crismanich on their no doubt impressive achievements in 2012 but we here at World of Sport will stick with Messi thank you very much.