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8 Current & Former Players Backing Messi For Ballon D'Or

With the 2021 Ballon d'Or winner set to be announced next month, here are eight current and former players who are backing Lionel Messi to win the prestigious individual accolade for a seventh time, and what they said.

Click through the gallery above to see what has been said by those who believe Messi should win this year's Ballon d'Or!

The victor of this year's biggest and most reputable individual prize in football will be named on 29 November, with former Barcelona captain and current Paris Saint-Germain superstar Messi among the few favourites for the award.

After finishing last season strongly with the Catalan club, the 34-year-old went into the 2021 Copa America tournament desperate to lead Argentina to their first major international trophy in 28 years, and did just that.

Messi finished that showpiece as champion, top scorer, top assist-provider and best player, becoming the first footballer in history to achieve all of those feats in a single international competition.

Among the players backing the six-time Golden Ball winner for this year's prize is Atletico Madrid's Luis Suarez, who, in a recent interview, said he feels his ex-colleague's exploits for his country in June and July should secure him the accolade.

Last week, Kylian Mbappe stated that Messi would be a deserving recipient of the 2021 edition of the prize, despite his France teammate Karim Benzema also being discussed as a potential favourite for the trophy.

In August, former Real Madrid and Italy striker Antonio Cassano revealed that when he ran into Jorginho – who is considered by many as someone who could claim the award this year – he and the Chelsea midfielder agreed that "Messi should always win it".

"Remember when I said any journalist who voted for Jorginho as Ballon d'Or should have his licence taken away? Well, I was in Formentera with my family and just as I sat down, I felt a touch," Cassano explained, according to The Sun.

"'Antonio, you're great!' the voice says. I turn around to ask who he was, he took off his glasses and mask, and it was Jorginho!

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"I told him, Jorgi, can you believe the scandal if they should give you the Ballon d'Or and not to Messi? He replied that he absolutely agreed with me, Messi should always win it."

Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah are also thought of as strong contenders for the accolade, with both forwards enjoying incredible goalscoring form in 2021 so far.

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