This was the first Ballon d’Or since 2019 after the 2020 competition was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the football calendar.
It was believed that the Polish international was favourite to win the award in 2020 before it was scratched.
The former UFC fighter is known to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of football and follows the game religiously, supporting Real Madrid, which could be another reason why he didn’t back Messi to win the award… being a Barcelona legend after all.
Khabib was left unimpressed with the award earlier this year and believes Messi should have come third in the rankings instead.
He said: “I would give it to Lewandowski or Benzema. One of them. Lewandowski. I think. Last three years, he is the best football player.
“We can just look at his results. What he does. He has won the Champions League. He has scored more than 120 goals last two years for the national team and club.
“He has 65 goals this year. It is too much.
“For football I think it is too much. I think he deserves Ballon d’Or.”
The Argentine legend has now won his seventh trophy, the most in Ballon d’Or history.
The Polish striker finished second in the votings, with Chelsea midfielder Jorginho third.