Lionel Messi is the main favorite to win the 2021 Golden Ball, according to Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, who believes that the Argentine has proven year after year that he is the best in the world.
Messi – who has won the most coveted individual award, a full six times – is being seen as the favorite again after closing another stunning season with Barcelona and leading Argentina to glory in the America’s Cup.
An international trophy with Argentina was the only thing Messi lacked in his brilliant career.
Koeman believes Messi deserves recognition for setting a very high standard for individual appearances for the team and national team in the last 12 months.
Messi is a free agent for now, as his contract with Barca expired on June 30, but Barcelona is on the verge of signing a new contract with the 34-year-old. Koeman is counting on him for the new 2021/22 season.
“He is vital, for what he offers the team and for the fact that he is a captain and an example. He has scored many goals despite having a difficult start.” said Koemani.
“He has shown again and again that he is the best in the world. I know how much he wanted to win the America’s Cup and he finally succeeded.”
He added: “Messi is the main candidate for the Golden Ball after a great season and, for me, he is the favorite.”