Former Tottenham Hotspur striker, Jermain Defoe, has identified Argentina’s Lionel Messi as the player that should win this year’s Ballon d’Or.
Messi, who won the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year, is among contenders to win the 2023 Ballon d’Or.
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The Inter Miami captain will compete with the likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe for the prestigious individual award.
Speaking to Stats Perform at the Legends of Football event, in aid of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, Defoe said: “Messi won a World Cup, so it is difficult to see past that.
“I think what he’s done for the game – him and [Cristiano] Ronaldo, and other players as well – but because he’s won a World Cup, and not only winning the World Cup but the way he performed in the tournament.
“Because the pressure was on, and it’s probably his last, so to do that, go out the way he has, in terms of World Cups – I think you just have to give it [2023 Ballon d’Or] to him.”