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Ex-Chelsea star Zola backs Jorginho to win the Ballon d’Or after Champions League and Euros triumphs

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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

Jorginho has been backed to win this year’s Ballon d’Or award over Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski by former Chelsea and Italy forward Gianfranco Zola.

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 lifted the European Championship with Italy this summer

The midfielder finished last season on a high, winning the Champions League with Chelsea

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

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

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

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

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) 

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