Messi enjoyed another stellar season for Barca, scoring 51 goals in all competitions as the Spanish giants claimed the LaLiga title.
Despite that, Rivaldo believes Messi should be awarded an outright record sixth Ballon d'Or.
"In my opinion, the Ballon D'Or of this season is Messi for what he has done," the 1999 winner said, courtesy of Betfair.
"He didn't win the Champions League, but because it is an individual prize he scored a lot of goals, important goals."
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have each won five Ballons d'Or, claiming the prize in every year since 2008 before Luka Modric ended their run in 2018.
Rivaldo hailed the superstar duo for their performances, saying: "They are such great players. I like them both.
"Messi always makes the difference at Barcelona and Ronaldo at every club and the national team – Juventus and Portugal.
"It's going to be thrilling again. When you talk about them it's for something good, they both score so many goals."