Jorginho indirectly states ‘he should win Ballon d’Or ahead of Lionel Messi’


London: Italy and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has indirectly stated he should win the Ballon d’Or ahead of former Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi if trophy counts are taken into account. “We all have dreams,” Jorginho told SporTV.

“It depends on the criteria that the decision is based on. If we’re talking about talent then I know I’m not the best in the world. But if it’s going on titles, then nobody has won more than I have this season.” added the UEFA Euro 2021 winner.

“How could I compare myself to Messi, Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo? They’ve got completely different characteristics to me. But, I repeat, it depends on the criteria,” added the 29-year-old. 

Both Jorginho and Messi have been in spectacular form and also enjoy a close battle for the Golden Ball. While the Italian won the Champions League and Super Cup wearing the Blues shirt, the playmaker played a vital cog in Italy’s Euro 2020 win a couple of months back.

Messi isn’t too far. He may have won just a single trophy – Copa del Rey – with Barcelona, but the Argentine’s biggest achievement was winning the Copa America 2021 – his first title in the national jersey after back-to-back heartbreaks in 2015 and 2016.   

However, former Italian forward Antonio Cassano has revealed that Jorginho agreed Messi should be awarded the Ballon d’Or. The 39-year-old has been of the view that Messi should be awarded the honour as long as he plays and it would a ‘scandal’ if handed to anyone else. 

“Remember when I said any journalist who voted for Jorginho as Ballon d’Or should have his licence taken away?” Cassano asked footballer-turned-pundit Christian Vieri on his Twitch channel.

“Well, I was in Formentera with my family and just as I sat down, I felt a touch. ‘Antonio, you’re great!’ the voice says. I turn around to ask who he was, he took off his glasses and mask, and it was Jorginho!

“I told him, Jorgi, can you believe the scandal if they should give you the Ballon d’Or and not to Messi? He replied that he absolutely agreed with me, ‘Messi should always win it’,” the former Azzuri added.

“Now I admire Jorginho even more. We were talking for a good 90 minutes. He is an exceptional guy, very intelligent, humble and polite,” Cassano added. Regarded as the most prestigious individual award for football players, Messi has the most Ballon d’Or to his name – six. 

Last season the Ballon d’Or ceremony was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is scheduled to take place in December. Along with Messi and Jorginho, Robert Lewandowski, N’Golo Kante and Cristiano Ronaldo are also in contention for the top honour.