Ballon d'Or 2021: Lionel Messi names Robert Lewandowski among his four biggest rivals

Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in action for PSG

The nominees for the 2021 Ballon d’Or were announced on Friday evening.

Among the 30 players that have made the shortlist include Lionel Messi.

The Argentine has had another extraordinary year in football.

He won the Copa del Rey with Barcelona and then won Copa America with Argentina.

In total, he’s scored 37 times and recorded 14 assists in 46 games for club and country this year. That’s a sensational tally.

His success both individually and collectively mean he’s the favourite to win his seventh Ballon d’Or title.

But who does Messi think are his biggest rivals for the award? He was asked for his thoughts in an interview with France Football and he gave four names…



“I have two players from my team that I will obviously vote for: Neymar and Kylian [Mbappe],” he started, per ESPN.

“Then there are players who individually have had a great season, like [Robert] Lewandowski or [Karim] Benzema, who also had a great year.”

So Messi is definitely voting for Neymar and Mbappe.

He can also vote for a third player. The Argentine could vote for eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo, although he named Benzema and Lewandowski instead of the Man United man when listing his favourites.

Ballon d’Or 2021: Date, UK Time, Odds, Nominees And Everything You Need To Know

Messi also shared his belief that winning titles is starting to hold more and more significance when it comes to the Ballon d’Or.

He continued: “What you have done at the collective level counts a lot to lift the Ballon d’Or. Lately the titles have a lot of weight, if you have won the Champions League, the Euro cup or the America’s Cup.”

Messi already has six Ballon d’Or titles to his name – the most of any other player in history.

He is the big favourite to lift his seventh Ballon d’Or, which will be announced on November 29 in Paris.

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