Italy and Juventus stars, Federico Chiesa, Giorgio Chiellini, and Chelsea’s Jorginho, have been named possible favourites to win this year’s Ballon d’Or.
Lionel Messi of Argentina and Barcelona and Italy goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma are also among the list of favourite players hoping to grasp the prestigious individual award this year.
A former Barcelona sporting director, Ariedo Braida believes that Chiesa should be given the France Football’s coveted award if he “keeps improving” following his performance in the recently concluded Euro 2020.
“He’s already won the Euros with Italy, so if he keeps improving like this, Chiesa can have ambitions to win the Ballon d’Or in future, too,” he told Tuttosport.
Ballon d’Or 2021: Three players named as possible contenders
Jorginho on his part has insisted that he deserves to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or having won the Champions League with Chelsea and helping Italy win the Euro 2020.
And Braida argued that Jorginho or Donnarumma should win the award.
“Jorginho has won more than anyone else, thanks to that brace of the Champions League and Euros, so I’d give it to him or Gianluigi Donnarumma,” he said.
“Having said that, Lionel Messi is always Messi and has to be taken into consideration.”
Speaking on the same issue, Shakhtar Donetsk manager, Roberto De Zerbi, believes that Chiellini could challenge for the award.
Chiellini, 36, formed a formidable partnership with Italy teammate Leonardo Bonucci at this summer’s Euro 2020.
De Zerbi told Gazzetta dello Sport that Jorginho “deserves” to win the Ballon d’Or.
But he pointed out that Chiellini could follow in the footsteps of Fabio Cannavaro by winning the award.
“If you look at the trophies he’s [Jorginho] won, he deserves it,” De Zerbi said.
“He is such a smart midfielder. When I was at Sassuolo, I used to tell Maxime Lopez to watch him closely because he sees football one hour before the others.
“You won’t notice him many times, but he was one of Italy’s key players with Gigio Donnarumma, Leo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
“However, Messi remains Messi and will be among the candidates.