The 30-man shortlist was announced for this year’s Ballon d’Or prize was announced on Monday which features Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk.

While Virgil van Dijk is this year’s favourite to win the Ballon d’Or after inspiring Liverpool to a Champions League victory against Spurs in the final, Messi as always will one of the strongest contenders to claim the prize once again.

Messi had another prolific season that yielded 36 goals and 13 assists in La Liga. His goals and assists led Barcelona to another La Liga title and he dragged Barcelona to the Champions League semi-final where they lost to eventual winners Liverpool.

We take a look at the some of the famous footballers, managers and pundits who have all recently come out and said that Lionel Messi should win the Ballon d’Or.

Virgil van Dijk 

Despite the Liverpool and Dutch defender being the favourite to claim the Ballon d’Or Van Dijk still believes that Messi is the best player and he deserves it as long as he is still playing.

He recently said “Messi is the best player in the world. He deserves it as long as he plays. I don’t think there is any case, he is the best player in the world.”

Kylian Mbappe

The 20-year-old might be tearing up defences in Ligue 1 and will no doubt be a huge contender to win the Ballon d’Or in the future but he is no doubt that Messi is still the best player in the world right now.

The French international will be one of the contenders to win the prize this year after scoring a staggering 33 goals in the League last season for PSG 11 goals more than Arsenal’s new signing Nicolas Pepe who finished 2nd with 22 goals

When asked Who do you think should win the Ballon d’Or?

Mbappe said “Messi. Despite the elimination, it does not change anything. He is the number one.”

Jamie Carragher

The former Liverpool defender is another believer Messi should win the Ballon d’Or 

He said “I think Messi should win the Ballon d’Or. He has really cemented himself at that level. Van Dijk is the best in his position, but Ballon d’Or… I think Messi.”

Sadio Mane

Mane who is one of the contenders to win the Ballon d’Or after having a prolific campaign with Liverpool, jointly winning the Premier League golden boot last season thinks that Messi should just shade it over his team mate Virgil van Dijk.

He said “Virgil is a great, great player but sorry Virgil, it has to be Messi before you”

Cesc Fabregas

Fabregas is one of Messi’s best mates and played alongside the Argentinian at Barcelona between 2011 to 2014 before moving to Chelsea and then Monaco.

Fabregas said: “It is difficult, but I think Messi deserves it [ Ballon d’Or ].

Sergio Aguero

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero who plays alongside Messi for Argentina belives that Messi should win the Ballon d’Or as long as he is still playing

“No one other than Messi will be my pick for the Ballon d’Or as long as he keeps on playing”

Frenkie De Jong

De Jong who is playing alongside Messi after moving to Barcelona this season is also included in the shortlist after an impressive season playing for Ajax. The 22-year-old also plays alongside van Dijk for the Dutch national team but believes that Messi should win it over his national teammate.

“Van Dijk or Messi for the Ballon d’Or? Don’t get me wrong, Van Dijk is a great player but you cannot compare him to Messi. Messi is the best in the world.” 

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique who has shared the dressing room with Messi since 2008 is in no doubt who he would vote for

Pique said “I always said that for me, if you have to vote for the best player, you have to vote for Messi.”

Jose Mourinho

Mourinho who came up against plenty of times as a manager believes that Messi will win the award.

Mourinho said “Messi knows that the Ballon d’Or is waiting for him.”

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez who has had an enviable partnership with Messi on the field since moving to Barcelona from Liverpool in 2014 feels that Messi should win the award every year. Suarez is said to have a close relationship with Messi off the field as well

Suarez said “The truth is that Messi deserves it every year.”

Roberto Moreno 

Moreno who is the current manager of the Spain national team has already revealed who he is going to vote for 

Moreno said “Messi is football. I voted for him in the FIFA Best. He is the best in history, as was the best player this year.”

Filipe Luis

Former Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis who always been vocal about Messi being the best player in the world after facing plenty of times with Atletico Madrid believes that if Messi does not win the Ballon d’Or it will lose its credibility.

“The award is for the best player in the world. The best player in the world is Messi. Today, last 2 years ago and 3 years ago. From the moment that Messi does not win the award, it loses its credibility.”

Niko Kovac

Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac has also revealed who he will be voting for

Kovac said “Messi has always got my Ballon d’Or vote.”

Andy Robertson

The Liverpool defender who can count himself unlucky not be included in the 30-man shortlist after an impressive season for Liverpool believes that Messi is the best player in the world.

When asked Who is the best player in the world?

Robertson said “Messi:

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