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Paul Pogba takes swipe at Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with Ballon d’Or pick


Paul Pogba has backed his compatriot N’Golo Kante to win the Ballon d’Or this year.

The Chelsea midfielder recently played a starring role as the Blues won the Champions League, winning match of the match in the final and both semi-final legs.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have both dominated the award over the past decade.

Luka Modric is the only other man to win the individual accolade following his efforts with Croatia at the 2018 World Cup.

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But Pogba was keen to point out that neither featured in the latter stages of the Champions League as Barcelona and Juventus both endured difficult years.

Kante is expected to play a central role for France at this summer’s European Championships.

Paul Pogba has backed N'Golo Kante to win the Ballon d'Or
Paul Pogba has backed N’Golo Kante to win the Ballon d’Or

And Pogba believes his midfield colleague would be a worthy recipient of the Ballon d’Or.

“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,” he told Eurosport France’s FC Stream Team podcast.

“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.

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“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.”

Success in the Champions League nowadays is a strong gauge as to who will claim the individual accolade.

Zinedine Zidane was the last Frenchman to win the Ballon d’Or, back in 1998.

France are among the favourites to win Euro 2020 which would see them back up their World Cup success.

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Kante’s Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has previously hailed the 30-year-old insisting it was like having an extra half a man.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were both knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were both knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16

“I never know the age of my players just from performance,” said the German.

“If you play with N’Golo you have half a man more; this is unique. He has a volume that is simply outstanding.

“It is a pleasure to be his coach, he is a big gift for me, a guy so, so humble and who is such a big helper on the pitch.

“But don’t underestimate his quality in passing, dribbling and escaping the pressure.”

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