Forget Messi and Lewandowski, give the Ballon d’Or to Jorginho! Gianfranco Zola calls for Chelsea midfielder to be named the BEST in the world and insists it’d be ‘deserved’ after Champions League and Euro 2020 successes with club and country
- Chelsea and Italy’s Jorginho is in the running to win the Ballon d’Or this year
- Jorginho claimed Champions League and Euro 2020 glory in recent months
- Lionel Messi is the firm favourite after leading Argentina to the Copa America
- But Gianfranco Zola believes Jorginho would be than deserve to win the award
The midfielder has enjoyed incredible success over the last 12 months, following up his Champions League triumph with Chelsea by winning the European Championship with Italy this summer.
Jorginho was a key component of the Chelsea side that defeated Manchester City to lift the Champions League and was one of the standout performers at Euro 2020 as Italy marched on to beat England in the final.
Jorginho has won the European Championship and Champions League over last few months
Gianfranco Zola insisted that Jorginho deserves to crowned the Ballon d’or winner this year
The 29-year-old’s fine performances this year has seen him become a genuine contender to win football’s most prestigious individual award but he faces stern competition from club team-mate N’Golo Kante, Messi and Lewandowski.
Barcelona superstar Messi, who has already claimed the gong a record six times, is the firm favourite after winning his first major trophy with Argentina by lifting the Copa America this summer, but Zola believes Jorginho would ‘deserve’ to win the award ahead of him.
Zola said: ‘Now we are talking about a fantastic player like Messi who did extraordinary things for the first time with his national team – and this won’t go unnoticed.
Lionel Messi is the firm favourite after leading Argentina to Copa America glory this summer
Robert Lewandowski is also a contender after scoring a staggering 48 goals last season
‘Should they give it to Jorginho? It would be deserved. He gives concrete balance and pace to his teams. I was lucky to have him at Chelsea and I know what he does on the pitch.
‘It would be deserved because not only were his performances at a high level, but the teams he played for have been outstanding. This must be taken into account.’
Jorginho can take encouragement from the fact that Luka Modric won the coveted prize back in 2018, having enjoyed similar success with his club and on the international stage.
Modric, now 35, became the first man to break Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi’s decade-long stranglehold on the Ballon d’Or back in 2018 after being named the best player in the world following a third successive Champions League trophy and a remarkable run with Croatia to the World Cup final.
Aside from Modric’s victory, the honour has been given to Messi and Ronaldo every year since 2008.
Luka Modric is the only person to win the award other than Messi and Ronaldo since 2008
Every Ballon d’Or winner since 2000
2000 – Luis Figo
2001 – Michael Owen
2002 – Ronaldo
2003 – Pavel Nedved
2004 – Andriy Shevchenko
2005 – Ronaldinho
2006 – Fabio Cannavaro
2007 – Kaka
2008 – Cristiano Ronaldo
2009 – Lionel Messi
2010 – Lionel Messi
2011 – Lionel Messi
2012 – Lionel Messi
2013 – Cristiano Ronaldo
2014 – Cristiano Ronaldo
2015 – Lionel Messi
2016 – Cristiano Ronaldo
2017 – Cristiano Ronaldo
2018 – Luka Modric
2019 – Lionel Messi
2020 – No winner (cancelled due to Covid)