Can Jorginho Win The 2021 Ballon d'Or?
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Can Jorginho Win The 2021 Ballon d'Or?

It has been a year to remember for Chelsea's Italian midfielder Jorginho. In May, he helped the Blues lift the Champions League after overcoming Premier League champions Manchester City in the final. Then less than two months later, he was picking up yet more silverware as Italy were crowned Euro 2020 champions after defeating England on penalties. Another trophy followed in August when Chelsea secured the Super Cup against Villarreal. As calendar years go, it has certainly been the 29-year-old's most successful – and further honours could still come his way as the Azzurri aim to win the second Nations League this international break. He is a player re-invented under both Thomas Tuchel and Roberto Mancini's stewardship and a shining example of the new breed of playmaker, a role that is no longer restricted to those wearing the number 10 shirt. His on-field success has seen Jorginho's name crop up in the Ballon d'Or conversation. But can the former Napoli man become the first Italian to claim the prize since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006?


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Captain’s Approval

One player who believes Jorginho should be the recipient of football’s most prestigious individual award is his national team skipper Giorgio Chiellini.

The imperious Juventus centre-half sang the Brazilian-born Chelsea midfielder’s praises ahead of their recent Champions League meeting.

“I truly hope he will be able to win it, because he’s a good friend of mine,” said Chiellini.

“And it would also be an award that I will also feel as mine, being an Italian of course, and as a player involved in a win and emotions that will always be in our hearts.

“Maybe he doesn’t have the greatest physical qualities, but the real difference lies in his head and his mentality.”

Jorginho initially failed to live up to the £50million price tag after following Maurizio Sarri from Naples to West London, but an exceptional 2020/21 campaign silenced the doubters.

“Many people said he could only play with Sarri,” said Chiellini, “instead, two other coaches arrived at Chelsea – and also the Italian national team.

“So wherever he goes, wherever he plays, he’s a regular player.

“I’m really happy for him and he truly deserves to win that award, so I hope that he will be awarded the Ballon d’Or.”




Who Else Is In The Running?

There are more than a few familiar faces who could well dent the Chelsea No5’s chance of picking up the Ballon d’Or.

Lionel Messi is a six-time winner of this prestigious award and is the early favourite once again after finally breaking his international trophy hoodoo after he led Argentina to the Copa America title in the summer.

He hasn’t hit the ground running at Paris Saint-Germain as many would have expected him to, but there is still plenty more football to be played before the votes are cast.

Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski would almost certainly have claimed the top prize in 2020, had the awards not been controversially cancelled due to Covid-19.

The Polish legend set a new Bundesliga goals record for a single season as he hit 41 goals, surpassing Gerb Muller’s long-standing tally of 40.

Jorginho’s midfield partner at Chelsea N’Golo Kante is one of the favourites, with the lovable maestro also worthy of praise in the Blues' Champions League triumph.

Cristiano Ronaldo looks unlikely to match arch-rival Messi’s tally of six Ballon d’Or this year, but so long as he is still playing at the top level, he’ll remain in the conversation.

Aiming to become just the fifth Italian after Gianni Rivera, Paolo Rossi, Roberto Baggio and Cannavaro to be awarded the honour, Jorginho will have to top some of the very best to be crowned the world’s best in 2021. 

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V: 1.23.0 All rights reserved. August 2021
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