Matias Messi, older brother of Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel, has been sentenced to house arrest in Argentina for possession of a weapon, a prosecutor said Monday.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who also won the FIFA Men's Player of the Year award in October, added the 2017 Ballon d'Or to his previous wins in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
Argentina endured a torrid qualifying campaign in South America's CONMEBOL group, only securing a World Cup place in the last match against Ecuador in October
Barcelona's 30-year-old Argentinian superstar won the coveted award from 2009 to 2012 and in 2015. Portugal's Ronaldo, who is 32, took the honours in 2008, 2013, 2014 and last year.
Barcelona's slip-up is a boost for Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, who can close to within six points with victories over Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad respectively later on Saturday.
Just a second slip up from Barcelona this La Liga season allowed Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid to close to within eight points of the leaders.
Lionel Messi ended months of speculation when finally putting pen to paper to extend his contract with Barcelona until 2021.
If Cristiano Ronaldo wins the upcoming Ballon D'Or, he will tie Lionel Messi on five victories.
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli called on his side to show they can cope without Lionel Messi, ahead of the friendly with 2018 World Cup hosts Russia in Moscow.
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi says the worst possible draw for his Argentina side at next year's World Cup would be Spain in the first round.
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde last week joked such off-field distractions appeared to be helping his side and once again they weren't fazed in registering a 10th win in their opening 11 La Liga matches.
Germany's World Cup winning captain Lothar Matthaus prefers Lionel Messi's style of playing more than Cristiano Ronaldo.
In his comment to Messi's Instagram video Pique replied: "In Catalonia they never stop indoctrinating children with 'Jean Petit qui danse'..... (the title of the nursery rhyme)" in a sarcastic dig at those in Spain who accuse Catalan authorities of indoctrination in schools.
Barcelona superstar Messi single-handedly rescued Argentina's World Cup hopes as the South American giants came from behind to win in Quito.
Argentina's stumbling 2018 World Cup qualification campaign faces another awkward hurdle on Thursday as the misfiring South American giants take on in-form Peru in Buenos Aires.
Had Barcelona refused to play the game they could have faced a three-point deduction from La Liga on top of forfeiting the match against Las Palmas.
Ronaldo is the overwhelming favourite to win the award, having led Real Madrid to the La Liga title and a third Champions League success in four years last season.
Lionel Messi added four more goals to his soaring early season tally as a much-changed Barcelona maintained their 100 percent start to La Liga by routing Eibar 6-1 on Tuesday.