Pique: Messi deserves seventh Ballon d’Or

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has backed his former team-mate Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time in his career.

Messi, the sixth time Ballon D’Or winner, is part of a 30-man shortlist for the prestigious award, which also includes the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe and the Argentine’s former Barca team-mate Pedri.

PARIS, FRANCE – DECEMBER 02: Lionel Messi (ARG / FC Barcelona) poses onstage after winning his sixth Ballon D’Or award during the Ballon D’Or Ceremony at Theatre Du Chatelet on December 02, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

Even during a coronavirus-affected  year and Barcelona porous season, Messi  scored 38 goals in 47 club appearances and followed this up by winning the Copa America.

Messi won the player of the tournament as Argentina lifted the Copa America for the first time since 1993, and also led Barca to Copa del Rey success.

Apart from trophy success, his hat-trick against Bolivia sees him overtake Pele as the top international goalscorer in South American football history. 

With the award set to be given out  on November 29, Barcelona defender Pique believes the PSG forward should have won more Ballon d’Or awards in previous years.

“I think Leo will win Ballon d’Or for sure,” he told Spanish broadcaster Ibai Llanos on Twitch on Monday night.

CASTELLON, SPAIN – APRIL 25: Gerard Pique of FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander match between Villarreal v FC Barcelona at the Estadio de la Ceramica on April 25, 2021 in Castellon Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

” We all know Leo is the best player in this generation.

The parameters for this trophy are so distorted that people no longer know what we are valuing.”

“If we are valuing trophies, Jorginho should be the winner but if you value the best player in the world, Leo must be the winner.

“If it’s valuing trophies plus performance plus figures… The winner is also Leo. Leo should have won more than seven times.”

In July, Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman also backed Messi to pick up the award in Paris.

He said: “He [Messi] 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 Favourite.

PSG manager and Messi’s compatriot, Mauricio Pochettino, says Messi has to win it.

“The Ballon d’Or should go to Messi without any doubt,” he told reporters last week.

“And if I didn’t coach Messi, I would still say Messi. I answer with my heart. I always say what I feel.”

But there’s a man that had different view about the winner of the Ballon d’Or this season.

Evra, who lost 3 Champions League final to Messi’s team believes the the award should be given to new winner this year.

BERLIN, GERMANY – JUNE 06: Lionel Messi of Barcelona goes past Patrice Evra of Juventus during the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion on June 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

“ I’m sick of giving it [the Ballon d’Or] to Messi” and has backed Chelsea pair N’Golo Kante and Jorginho for the he award.