Lionel Messi has confessed that he plans to vote for Paris Saint-Germain team-mates Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in the upcoming 2021 Ballon d’Or.
Messi is among the favourites to win the prize – which would be his seventh – but faces serious competition from the likes of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho.
Lewandowski recently urged voters to leave the politics at home when picking their winner of the Ballon d’Or, but he’s not going to get his wish from Messi as the Argentine confessed to L’Equipe that he plans to support his team-mates.
“Obviously, I have two players in my team for whom I will vote: Neymar and Kylian,” he revealed.
However, Messi did go on to praise Lewandowski for his efforts over the past two years, admitting the Pole is among the favourites to stop him from winning his seventh Ballon d’Or.
“There are players who individually have had a great season, like Robert Lewandowski,” he said. “[Karim] Benzema has also had a great year.
“It’s hard to say [who will win] because what you do as a team matters a lot in the Ballon d’Or. It used to be the best player of the year that won the award but now it’s the one who accumulates the most titles. Achieving things has a lot of weight in this award.”
Messi’s 2020/21 season wasn’t exactly overflowing with silverware. His Barcelona side won the Copa del Rey, while he finally managed to lead Argentina to Copa America glory, but the 34-year-old is well aware that other players have enjoyed more success over the past 12 months than he has.
Nevertheless, Messi remains one of the leading candidates for the prize. He was excellent individually for Barcelona, ending the season with 38 goals and 14 assists in just 47 games.