On Friday the La Liga side Athletic Bilbao held out with nine men to secure a first win over the Spanish giant FC Barcelona in four years and carry a 2-1 lead into the second leg of their Copa del Rey last 16 tie on January 11.


As two goals before the half time from Aritz Aduriz and Inaki Williams respectively put the home side in command.


But in the second half, the Argentine ace FC Barcelona’s star forward Lionel Messi’s fine free-kick gave Barcelona something to get back on track, which is the first blow on cristiano ronaldo from the Argentine ace in the race to win 2017 ballon d'or.

After struggling to score in the first half, the 29-year-old Argentine ace was on fire in the second half and in the 52 min. of the game Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz got a firm hand to Messi's curling free-kick but could only palm it onto the crossbar and over the line.

And then the Argentine ace Lionel Messi tried his best along with his teammates to equalize the score, but was inches away from a precious second away goal when he hit the post with the final kick of the game after Raul Garcia and Ander Iturraspe had been sent-off.


Anyhow the five times ballon d’Or Lionel Messi seems like looking to reclaim the title of the world's best footballer after missing out on the award in 2016.

And the little Argentinean had the advantage of opening his 2017 tally before the 2016 ballon d’Or Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese international was left out of Real Madrid's 3-0 win over Sevilla on Wednesday night.