Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi has, on Friday evening, provided an insight into his planned voting strategy for this year’s Ballon d’Or award.
The subject of the Ballon d’Or – widely regarded as world football’s most prestigious individual prize – has of course taken centre stage online today.
This comes with France Football having unveiled their shortlist of 30 nominees, ahead of next month’s highly-anticipated ceremony.
The usual big-hitters were all present, including the two most successful players in the accolade’s history – Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – along with Robert Lewandowski, Neymar, Erling Haaland, and another previous winner – Luka Modric.
Also honoured with inclusions were Barcelona sensation Pedri, Italian Euro 2020 winners Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, and even Simon Kjaer, owing to his heroic response to Christian Eriksen’s frightening cardiac arrest during the summer:
Lewandowski, Salah, Jorginho, Azpilicueta, Lukaku, Ronaldo, Foden, Gerard Moreno, Mbappe, Suarez, De Bruyne, Dias, Kjaer, Neymar, Lautaro Martinez, Messi, Pedri, Chiellini, Bruno Fernandes, Modric, Mahrez, Haaland, Kante, Mount, Bonucci, Donnarumma, Kane, Benzema, Barella, Sterling
As things stand, it is of course Lionel Messi who is viewed as the bookmakers‘ front-runner to bag a historic 7th Ballon d’Or crown, on the back of a long overdue Copa America triumph with Argentina.
As outlined above, though, on Friday, the 34-year-old has provided an insight into who he himself intends to vote for, for the award.
Speaking to France Football (as cited by Goal France), Messi unsurprisingly confirmed his plans to put forth the names of Paris Saint-Germain teammates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
But the Argentine superstar was not done there, going on to hint that he is also taking into consideration the stellar efforts of both Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema this calendar year:
‘In my team (PSG), there are two that I will easily vote for – Ney and Kylian.’
‘And then, Robert Lewandowski, who has had a great year. There is also Karim Benzema, who was excellent.’
‘We know that titles are important, too.’