Paul Pogba has snubbed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo while picking his choice for the Ballon d’Or in 2021 – nothing their failure to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
While Barcelona and Juventus both failed to win their respective league titles this season, they did lift silverware with the Copa del Rey in Spain and Coppa Italia in Italy.
One prize that stands above all others in club football is the Champions League, with Chelsea toppling Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in Porto late last month.
Among that impressive squad of Thomas Tuchel, one man stood above the rest, with N’Golo Kante named man of the match in both semi-final legs and the final itself.
Having won the World Cup alongside Kante in 2018, Pogba needed no extra evidence of the quality that the former Leicester City man has at his disposal.
Kante, 30, made a total of 48 appearances in 2020/21 for Chelsea under a combination of Frank Lampard and Tuchel, and starred without finding the target for the Blues.
While the dynamo brushed aside a mention of individual glory following the victory over City, Pogba has offered up his honest opinion ahead of Euro 2020.
Pogba told Eurosport: “What I would like to say to the whole world is that the ‘NG’ we have seen in recent months has always been the same.
“We talk a lot about his performances but he has always been as good as ever.
“There was no Cristiano and Messi in the semi-final, so it’s good to see the performances of the midfielders or even the defenders.
“I said a long time ago that it would be appropriate, if Chelsea won, for him to win the Ballon d’Or. It would be deserved, too.”
Kante said when asked about the award: “No, for the moment we are savouring the Champions League, the Euros are soon, I will join the France team and I hope to win that as well.”
Before adding: “It’s amazing.
“It’s the result of a lot of effort, after a lot of difficulties during the season.
“The Man of the Match award is secondary. The main thing is the work of the whole group. It is pride and joy. We fought to qualify for the final. Today, we have suffered, we have the reward.”