Gianfranco Zola believes Jorginho should be awarded the Ballon d’Or despite Lionel Messi’s strong claims.
Despite scoring each of his seven goals from the penalty spot, Jorginho finished the season as Chelsea’s top scorer in the Premier League.
In Euro 2020, he played every game for Italy in their successful campaign that ended with a penalty shoot-out win over England at Wembley.
Despite missing from the spot in the final, Jorginho had an impeccable tournament for the Azzurri.
At Euro 2020, the Brazilian player topped the interceptions charts with 25, significantly more than Chelsea teammate N’Golo Kante (14).
Jorginho created seven chances for his team-mates with 484 successful passes, only two more than Spain’s Aymeric Laporte (644). Only Lorenzo Insigne (40) had more shot-ending sequences than his 38.
Messi, a six-time Ballon d’Or winner, led LaLiga in scoring with 38 goals and 12 assists across all competitions last season before leading Argentina to Copa America glory.
Former Chelsea forward Zola – who earned 35 caps for Italy and scored 10 goals between 1991 and 1997 – recommended Jorginho as a worthy challenger to Messi.
“The Ballon d’Or is usually given to a striker or offensive player who can score a lot,” Zola told Stats Perform.
Now we are talking about a fantastic player like [Lionel] Messi who stepped up for his national team for the first time – and this will not be overlooked.
It would be fair to award it to Jorginho, who provides stability and pace to his teams. I had the good fortune to know what he can do on the pitch when I worked with him at Chelsea.
The award would be deserved not just because of his performances, but also because the teams he has played for have been outstanding. This must be taken into account.”