Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman believes Lionel Messi is the favorite to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or.
has emerged as the favorite candidate to be named as the best player in the world yet again after helping Argentina win the Copa America in Brazil.
The 34-year-old is currently a free agent as his contract withBarcelona
has expired. This allows the attacker to switch clubs on a free transfer, but Messi is expected to sign a new contract with Barcelona soon.
The Argentinian superstar scored 38 goals in 47 appearances across all competitions for Barca last season, including 30 in the League, which saw him earn the Pichichi award for the eighth time.
Messi also scored four goals and provided five assists in seven games during Argentina's run to the Copa America crown and won Player of Tournament and Golden Ball prizes after their final victory.
International silverware was the only thing missing from Messi's career, and Barca head coach believes he deserves recognition for what he did for both club and country over the past 12 months.
“He is very important, he is our captain and an example”,
as per reports fromDiario AS
“His effectiveness has been enormous, after a difficult start.
“He really wanted to win the Copa America and as he is the best player in the world he is used to winning titles.
“For me he is the favorite to win the Ballon d’Or in 2021”
Messi has won the award six times so far and his main rivals for this year's prize seem to beChelsea