LIONEL MESSI is the favourite to win this year’s Ballon d’Or award – but he’d rather give the award to one of his Paris Saint-Germain team-mates.
Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have impressed Messi so much since he arrived in Paris this summer they would get his vote for the prestigious prize.
The pair, along with Messi are yet to set the world alight this season, but the ex-Barca star is still convinced they have enough talent to be considered for the Ballon d’Or.
The 34-year-old told L’Equipe: “In my team, there are two for whom I will easily vote: Neymar and Kylian Mbappé.”
Although Mbappe might not agree with Messi’s choice to include Neymar after calling the Brazilian a bum for not passing the ball to him recently.
But despite his allegiance to his new team-mates, Messi couldn’t overlook Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski’s impact this season and admitted he’d get his vote too.
The 33-year-old scored a stunning 41 times in just 29 Bundesliga games last season, a feat that helped him scoop the European Golden Shoe award last month.
He also played a key role in decimating Messi’s former Barca team 3-0 in the Champions League this term, scoring a brace in the game.
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN NEW CUSTOMER DEALS
Real Madrid star Karim Benzema also made Messi’s shortlist of potential Ballon d’Or winners.
The French ace has been in rare form for Madrid this season, snagging ten goals in as many games in all competitions.
Messi added: “And then Robert Lewandowski, who has just had a great year and Karim Benzema who was excellent.”
Surprisingly, there was no mention of Messi’s old foe Cristiano Ronaldo who’s hit the net five times in six matches for Manchester United in this campaign.
And it’s not just Messi who doubts Ronaldo will add a fifth Ballon d’Or to his trophy cabinet.
Bookies have got the Portuguese star down as the sixth favourite to win the prize, behind Chelsea aces Jorgino and N’Golo Kante.