Messi: Who I will vote for in Ballon d'Or 2021
Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi has revealed where two of his three votes in the 2021 Ballon d’Or will be going.
Messi won the individual prize for a record sixth time in 2019 but did not have to defend the title a year later due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Argentine is favourite to win the award for a seventh time in late November and has been named on a 30-man shortlist for the gong.
It will be voted upon by journalists, captains and coaches from each FIFA nation around the world, meaning that Messi will get his say in who wins the 2021 edition.
The PSG star says that he has already made up his mind over where two of his votes will go but appears to be hesitant over the third.
“I have two players in my team who I will vote for: Neymar and Kylian Mbappe,” he told France Football. “After that, there are great players at an individual level who have had a great season, like Robert Lewandowski. Karim Benzema has also had a great year at the individual level.
“It’s hard to say who will win because what you did at the collective level matters a lot to the Ballon d’Or. Lately, titles have had a lot of weight: it matters if you won the Champions League, European Championship or Copa America.
“In previous years, we looked more for the best player of the year.”
Messi’s Ballon d’Or dominance
Messi has earned six Ballon d’Or titles and has enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the prize with Cristiano Ronaldo since the latter first won the award in 2008. Between them, they have 11 prizes to date, with Luka Modric the only player to interrupt their run in the last 13 years.
The haul that the Argentine has picked up included four successive titles from 2009-2012 before the claimed the award again in 2015 and most recently in 2019.
Messi, who won the Copa America with Argentina in the summer, is hot favourite to add to his Ballon d’Or collection at a ceremony in Paris on 29 November.