Football

Italy boss: Jorginho not winning Ballon d’Or would be ‘strange’

Jorginho not walking away with the 2021 Ballon d’Or would be “strange”, says Italy boss Roberto Mancini, with the Chelsea midfielder considered to be the obvious choice for a Golden Ball triumph given the year he has enjoyed.

Jorginho not walking away with the 2021 Ballon d’Or would be “strange”, says Italy boss Roberto Mancini, with the Chelsea midfielder considered to be the obvious choice for a Golden Ball triumph given the year he has enjoyed.

A 29-year-old playmaker on the books at Stamford Bridge has been included on France Football’s 30-man list of contenders battling it out for the right to be called the best player on the planet.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with 11 gongs between them, are also in the running, along with Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland, but Mancini believes Jorginho deserves the nod after claiming Champions League and European Championship crowns in 2021.

Mancini, who led Italy to Euro 2020 glory over the summer, has told reporters of the battle for Ballon d’Or glory, with five Azzurri stars on the list: “They are there because they are good, not because of me.

“Jorginho should, in my opinion, win the Ballon d’Or. He has won everything and deserves it a lot. It would seem strange to me otherwise.”

Having collected major silverware with club and country, the Brazil-born star is a leading candidate to land the most prestigious of personal prizes.

Argentine icon Messi, who landed the first senior international honour of his remarkable career at the 2021 Copa America, is still the favourite for many, with the South American now at Paris Saint-Germain after severing ties with Barcelona.

Jorginho, though, can expect to garner plenty of support from the journalists, international coaches and captains that will be casting votes from which a winner will be determined.

The Chelsea man believes he should be in the mix for another top prize and is allowing thoughts to drift towards what it would feel like to pip the likes of Messi and Ronaldo to an award that they have dominated.

Jorginho has said: “Who doesn’t dream of that? Dreaming small and dreaming big are the same thing, so it’s better to dream big.”

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