Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi did his chances of winning the FIFA Ballon d'Or at the end of the year a whole lot of good with his performance against hosts Real Sociedad in their league clash on Sunday night.

Messi was the star of the show as Barcelona thrashed their hosts 6-1 to move within four points of Atletico Madrid in the keenly contested race for the Spanish La Liga. Messi scored two goals and also had a hand in virtually all the goals in what was an allround display for the Argentina national team skipper.

His performance against the Basque club has been able to boost his hopes of winning another FIFA Ballon d'Or Award after the one he won at the end of 2019. His two goals against Real Sociedad took Messi clear of both Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema in the Pichichi race in La Liga. The Pichichi is given to the player with the most goals at the end of the La Liga campaign and Messi is clear favourites to retain the Pichichi Award that he won last season.

Messi has now scored 23 goals in the Spanish La Liga this term with former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez in distant second . Suarez scored goal number 19 at the weekend to give league leaders Atletico Madrid a 1-0 win at home to Alaves. Suarez has to make up four goals on Messi between now and the rest of the season. Real Madrid talisman Benzema is also in the Pichichi race after his brace at the weekend. He scored two goals in the 3-1 away win over Celta Vigo to take his league goal tally to 17 goals.

Messi has Paris Saint Germain (PSG) attacker Kylian Mbappe and reigning FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich to contend with if he wants to win the award again. His chances could be affected by the Champions League round of 16 exit to PSG but he could make up for it with trophies both on the club level and national team level. The Copa America tournament in the summer is a good platform for him to boost his chances if he can win a first title at international level at the tournament.