Gianfranco Zola explains why Chelsea star deserves to win Ballon d’Or over Lionel Messi

Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola deserves to win the Ballon d’Or more than Lionel Messi.

The midfielder became a double European champion last season with Chelsea winning the Champions League and Italy triumphing at Euro 2020.

Messi had similar success on the international stage as Argentina claimed Copa America glory with a 1-0 win against Brazil in the final.

Both international trophies were the men’s first with their countries.

But with Barca being knocked out the Champions League last 16 by eventual semi-finalists Paris Saint- Germain and coming just third in LaLiga, Jorginho wins the game of ‘trophy top trumps’.

Messi, 34, is one of the greatest players of all time and has just signed a new five-year, £1.2million-A-WEEK deal at the Nou Camp.

But Zola, 55, reckons Jorginho, 29, has contributed more this season.

The former Chelsea striker and assistant manager said: “Now we are talking about a fantastic player like Messi who did extraordinary things for the first time with his national team – and this won’t go unnoticed.

“Should they give it to Jorginho? It would be deserved.

“He gives concrete balance and pace to his teams. I was lucky to have him at Chelsea and I know what he does on the pitch.

“It would be deserved because not only were his performances at a high level, but the teams he played for have been outstanding.

“This must be taken into account.”

Real Madrid ace Luka Modric, 35, in 2018 was the last man outside of Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to win the coveted award.

He scooped the gong after a third consecutive Champions League trophy and leading Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final.

And with the players playing in similar positions, Jorginho can take heart.

Jorginho is currently taking a well-earned rest on holiday in Mykonos and was pictured kissing his girlfriend Catherine Harding in a passionate embrace on the beach.

Messi has also been relaxing by the pool with his family in Miami.

Barca are said to be in talks with four big-earners about reducing their wages so the Catalans can afford the Argentine’s bumper new deal.

And eagle-eyed fans recently noticed a Ronaldo headline stuck up in Barca’s dressing room to act as a warning to their top stars.