Lothar Matthaus has given his thoughts on the race for the Ballon d’Or, backing Jorginho for the accolade while stating Mohamed Salah remained in contention.
The race for the Ballon d’Or is heating up, with plenty of former footballers speaking their minds on who might take home the individual accolade. The 30-man nominee list for the coveted prize was announced earlier this month, with plenty of star names battling for it.
Mohamed Salah, Jorginho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski are among those in the running, along with 25 other star performers. There have been some suggestions that Salah might nick it on current form.
There is enough backing for Jorginho as well, but the Liverpool forward has shown a scintillating form since the start of the new season, more recently against Manchester United, scoring a hat-trick at Old Trafford.
When it comes to Ballon d’Or, international tournaments have a big say in swinging those votes. While Salah has not experienced much success with Egypt, Messi and Jorginho certainly have with their respective nations. The Chelsea midfielder won the Champions League, then helped Italy win the Euro 2020, while Messi won the Copa America with Argentina.
Former Bayern Munich star Lothar Matthaus suggests there are many reasons for Jorginho to win the award. He went on to point out a specific period in Liverpool’s previous season, which might hurt Salah’s chances of winning while also backing Lewandowski to have a chance.
Writing for Sky (via HITC h/t Liverpool Echo), Matthaus opined, “What Klopp’s superstar Salah has been delivering for a few months is, of course, absolutely world-class. It is quite possible that this will help him a lot in his choice of world footballer. But that was not the case for the whole year. In the spring, he and Liverpool had serious problems.
“Candidate Jorginho from Chelsea has been convincing for almost the entire last season and played a key role in winning the Champions League and the European Championship with Italy. He’s not as spectacular as Lewandowski, whom I personally keep my fingers crossed for the most. This time, however, he lacks the international title. Messi won the Copa America with Argentina but achieved nothing great with Barcelona. There are no top favourites.”
Matthaus may be right here. While Salah has been sensational this season, the others have helped their clubs and countries win titles last season earlier in the calendar year. From that point of view, Messi or Jorginho might be more deserving of the individual accolade than the Egyptian.