Lionel Messi finally won an elusive major international trophy with Argentina. The South American powerhouse team ended their 28-year wait for silverware at this year's Copa America, and it appears as though their captain is on his way to a seventh Ballon d'Or trophy.

Messi was named Player of the Tournament at Copa America alongside Brazilian forward Neymar Jr., who played for the losing finalists. The Copa America success puts the Argentine on the front foot for the accolade.

After having scored 38 times from 47 games and providing 14 assists, Messi has had yet another stellar season and is showing no signs of slowing down. According to Marca, the six-time Balon d'Or winner was named man of the match a whopping 26 times last season.

Messi was also the leading goalscorer in both the Copa America and La Liga Santander. On the way to the Copa America title, Messi scored or assisted nine out of the team's 12 goals throughout the tournament.

Barcelona did not win La Liga but they did claim the Copa del Rey title. All things considered, Messi is a favourite but there are others with an outside chance to win the sought-after trophy.

Italy won the European Championship this summer, making their defensive pairing of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci contenders for the accolade. Meanwhile, UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea also have the likes of N'Golo Kante and Mason Mount, who may be able to stake a claim.

Meanwhile, Italian Chelsea players Jorginho and Emerson Palmieri won both the Euros and the Champions League.

Elsewhere, Messi's constant Ballon d'Or rival Cristiano Ronaldo failed to defend the European Championship trophy with Portugal, but he did break the all-time international goalscoring record this summer. Unfortunately, his club Juventus did not manage to win Serie A this season, weakening his chances at the trophy this year.

Frenchman Kylian Mbappe also failed both in Ligue 1 and in the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain, giving him an even smaller chance.

Overall, it appears as though Messi has the edge over the competition. Regardless is he is favourite or not, the player is likely more concerned about his pending contract renewal with Barcelona.

Argentina's Lionel Messi is thrown into the air by celebrating teammates after winning the 2021 Copa America AFP / MAURO PIMENTEL