Ronald Koeman has revealed Lionel Messi is favourite to win football’s top individual award after another brilliant year
FC Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has labeled Lionel Messi as the favorite candidate to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or following an outstanding year for both club and country.
Lionel Messi who has already won the most prestigious individual award in the football fraternity for an unprecedented six times has been tipped to get the nod once again following a brilliant campaign with Barcelona and Argentina.
The Argentine has been hugely lambasted for failing to deliver a trophy for the senior national team over the years, with an international silverware being the only thing missing from Messi’s illustrious career.
However, the 1-0 triumph over Brazil some weeks ago in the Copa America final has further enriched the 34-year-old CV.
Koeman believes Lionel Messi deserves recognition for setting the standard high this season in terms of individual brilliance over the past twelve months.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Koeman said Messi is favourite to win the Ballon d’Or.
“He is vitally important. For what he brings to the team, he is the captain and an example. His goalscoring has been brilliant despite a difficult start.
“He has shown time and again he is the best in the world. I know how much he wanted to win the Copa America and he has done it at last.
“Messi is the prime candidate for the Ballon d’Or after a great season and, for me he is the favorite.”
The 34-year-old registered 38 goals in 47 outings in all competitions for Barcelona last season, including 30 in La Liga.
He further provided 14 assists while helping the Catalan side to win the Copa del Rey title.
On the international front, Lionel Messi recorded four goals with five assists in seven games during Argentina’s run to the Copa America success, clinching the Golden Ball and Player of the To awards.