Patrice Evra confesses he’s tired of Lionel Messi winning the Ballon d’Or and believes there are more deserving candidates this year. The PSG forward is a favorite to win the trophy again next month, after finally leading his Argentina team to victory in the Copa America for the first time in 28 years this summer.
The 34-year-old is the current recipient of the prize, which was first presented in 2019 but was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic last year. Despite a lackluster final season with Barcelona before his contract expired and he moved to PSG in the summer, Messi might now be on his way to winning his seventh Ballon d’Or after already winning a record six.
However, Evra believes that another Messi victory would be an injustice, and he has tipped Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Jorginho as stronger candidates to win the renowned title next month at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.
Both were key in Chelsea’s surprising run to the Winners League final, before the Blues beat Premier League champions Manchester City 1-0 under Thomas Tuchel, with Kante earning Man of the Match honors, and Jorginho winning the Euro 2020 with Italy.
‘In my opinion, this Ballon d’Or is for Kante or Jorginho… I’m sick of giving it to Messi,’ Evra said.
‘What did he win last year? Okay, the Copa America. With Barcelona what did he do?’
Despite Barca finishing third in LaLiga and exiting the Champions League in the last-16, Messi did lead his team to Copa del Rey victory last season.
Mauricio Pochettino, who joined PSG because Barca was unable to offer him a new contract due to financial concerns, has tipped one of his newest signings and compatriots to retain his prize.
Pochettino said: ‘The Ballon d’Or should go to Messi without any doubt.’
‘And if I didn’t coach Messi, I would still say Messi. I answer with my heart. I always say what I feel. On the podium with him would have to be (Robert) Lewandowski and Cristiano [Ronaldo].’