Messi is the leading candidate for the Ballon d’Or – Koeman
Lionel Messi is the favourite for this year’s Ballon d’Or prize, according to Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman.
Messi just accepted a significant pay cut to re-sign with Barcelona, the club with which he has belonged since he was 12 years old.
He and Argentina won the Copa America in July, defeating Brazil in the final. Jorginho of Chelsea, who won the Champions League and the Euro 2020 Cup with Italy, is a surprising candidate for the prize.
Despite winning domestic trophies, big-name players Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Kevin De Bruyne, and Champions League winner N’golo Kante did not win a trophy with their countries this summer.
Although big-name stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Kevin De Bruyne, and Champions League winner N’golo Kante won domestic trophies this summer, Koeman feels Messi is the winner favourite to win the Ballon D’Or award.
“Messi is crucial for our game, he’s the captain and an example,” said Koeman to Barca TV.
“His efficiency last season was huge after a start to the season made complicated by his situation, but once again he showed he was the best player in the world.
“(Winning the Copa America is) hugely important because I know how much he wanted that after so many years without winning with his national team. As the best in the world, he’s used to winning things and in the end, he got what he was fighting for.
“He’s the main candidate for the Ballon d’Or for the great season he had and winning the Copa America. For me, he’s the top favourite to win it.”
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