Jorginho has privately admitted that Lionel Messi should win the Ballon d’Or despite some media claiming the Italian should win this year’s edition. That’s according to former Italian international and Real Madrid player Antonio Cassano.
Messi is seen as the favorite for the award for his exploits with FC Barcelona and Argentina, plus what’s to come since his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Speaking to Bobo TV, Cassano recalled a chance meeting with Jorginho, fresh off a stellar season in which he won the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea and Euro 2021 with Italy.
Cassano’s feelings on the matter were already well known. He starts by asking the hosts: “Do you remember what I think of Jorginho winning the Ballon d’Or? That we should snatch the credentials from the journalist who said it?“
He says that he happened to meet Jorginho on a plane to Formentera, an island which is part of Spain, with his family.
”While I’m leaning on the seat, I feel someone touch me: ‘Antonio, you are great!’ I turn: ‘Who the hell are you?’ He takes off his glasses, mask and guess who it was? Jorginho!“
With time, the issue of the award was brought up.
“I told him: ‘Oh Giorgio, but do you realize the scandal that is coming out?’ He asks me: ‘What happened, Antò?’ ‘They want to give the Ballon d’Or to you and not to Messi.’ He says: ‘No, no, Antò, I agree with you, absolutely, Messi must always win.’ I answer: ‘Bravo, now I respect you more, very good, Giorgio.’”
Cassano: Do you realize the scandal that is coming out?— Luis Mazariegos (@luism8989) August 19, 2021
Jorginho: What happened?
Cass: They want to give the Ballon d’Or to you and not to Messi
Jorg: No, I agree with you, absolutely, Messi must always win
Cass: Bravo, now then I respect you more!pic.twitter.com/vfXIXgvby8
Jorginho has just been shortlisted to the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award alongside Chelsea midfield partner N’Golo Kanté and Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne. Messi was left off the shortlist in an award that prioritizes UEFA competitions (the Champions League and Euros) and is voted by a European panel. Messi remains the only non-European player to ever win it, having received it in 2011 and 2015.
Messi is still seen as the favorite for the Ballon d’Or. Apart from Jorginho, one of the other candidates is said to be Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, who also was left off the top three of the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award.
Cassano said he was impressed with Jorginho’s honesty.
“He said it himself, he said it! Then we spent an hour and a half talking. He’s an exceptional guy, polite, very intelligent, and humble,“ Cassano said.