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PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino names his Ballon d’Or top three and offers Kylian Mbappe update

Published by on October 14th, 2021.

Maurico Pochettino believes Lionel Messi should win this year’s Ballon d’Or as he named a familiar-looking top three, while he remains confident Paris Saint-Germain can convince Kylian Mbappe to stay.

The 30-man shortlist for this year’s award was announced last Friday, with Chelsea’s Champions League-winning duo of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, who has already won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, among the favourites.

But Pochettino still feels Messi is the best player on the planet by some margin despite a somewhat disappointing campaign with Barcelona last season, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski round off his top three.

Asked to name his winner for this year’s award, which will be revealed next month, Pochettino told El Partidazo de COPE on Wednesday night: ‘The Ballon d’Or should go to Messi without any doubt.

‘And if I didn’t coach Messi, I would still say Messi. I answer with my heart. I always say what I feel.

‘On the podium with him would have to be Lewandowski and Cristiano.’

Interestingly, despite not naming any Chelsea players in his own Ballon d’Or rankings, Pochettino still believes the west Londoners are the favourites to retain the Champions League this season.

He added: ‘The favourite to win the Champions League is Chelsea, more than anything because they are the defending champion.’

This season, meanwhile, could be Mbappe’s last at the Parc des Princes with his contract set to expire next summer, though Pochettino is still hopeful that the French striker will commit his future to PSG.

He continued: ‘Mbappe is fine, he’s a calm boy with a lot of personality and a very sociable character, he is clear about things and loves football, he’s very mature for 22 years old.

‘Kylian will make the decision he has to make and the club will do everything possible to keep him, because we’re taking about one of the best players in the world at 22.

‘I’m left with the fact that the situation is open and in the future anything can happen, the position of a few months ago may change in the future.

‘PSG as a club certainly have the ambition and ability to persuade him and offer him things so that he can stay and be happy, the possibilities that he could change his mind are there.’

MORE : Sadio Mane blasts ‘unacceptable’ snub for Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy on Ballon d’Or list

MORE : Lionel Messi hails Emiliano Martinez as ‘one of the best goalkeepers in the world’ after Argentina beat Uruguay

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

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