Lionel Messi has given his honest opinion on this year’s Ballon d’Or, describing the possibility of winning the prize for a seventh time as “crazy”.
Despite playing in a poor Barcelona side last season, Messi still banged in the goals and then captained Argentina to a long-awaited Copa America triumph in the summer.
He collected both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards and though he’s not set the world alight in his new surroundings at Paris Saint-Germain, the 34-year-old is the favourite to win the gong yet again.
But interestingly, Messi isn’t so sure about his chances of being named as the winner by France Football and isn’t too fussed if he does not come out on top.
Messi won his 6th Balon D’or in 2019
“If I’m honest, I don’t think so [he can win it],” Messi admitted in a wide-ranging interview with SPORT, as per The Mirror.
“My biggest prize was what I was able to achieve with the national team. After having fought and fought so much for that achievement, it was the best for all it cost.
“If the golden ball arrives it would be extraordinary for what it would mean winning one more. The seventh would be crazy. If not, nothing happens
“I have already achieved one of my great goals. I am very happy for what happened and now that whatever has to happen, happens.”
Messi’s last Ballon d’Or win came in 2019 and he has already talked about the strong competition for this year’s award, namechecking teammates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, as well as Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema.
“In my team, there are two for whom I will easily vote: Neymar and Kylian Mbappé,” Messi told France Football.
“And then Robert Lewandowski, who has just had a great year and Karim Benzema who was excellent.”
Football journalists, coaches and captains of national teams all have a say in voting for the Ballon d’Or, which was first introduced in 1956.
The winner of the 2021 instalment will be announced later this month on 29 November at Paris’ Theatre du Chatelet.