It was once claimed there should be TWO Ballon d'Or awards because of Lionel Messi
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Jorge Sampaoli once hilariously claimed that there should be not one but TWO Ballon d'Ors because of Lionel Messi.
Messi made his return to the Ballon d'Or nominations following a shock omission from the 30-player shortlist for the award in 2022.
He's been nominated for the coveted individual award this year as he looks to claim a record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or.
The 36-year-old is the favourite to win the award, having guided his old side Paris Saint-Germain to domestic glory and inspired Argentina to World Cup glory last year.
But he faces stiff competition from Erling Haaland, who scored a staggering 52 goals last season as he helped Manchester City win the treble.
As Messi closes in on yet another Ballon d'Or title, it was once suggested that there should be TWO Ballon d'Ors because of the superstar forward's dominance.
That's according to former Argentina national team manager Sampaoli, who gave the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner the ultimate compliment.
"There should be two Ballon d'Ors: one for Messi and one for everyone else," he said during his reign at Sevilla, back in 2016.
Messi won the first of his seven Ballon d'Or titles in 2009 as he beat Cristiano Ronaldo. He then collected the prize in the next three years before winning his fifth Ballon d'Or in 2015.
He also won the award in 2019 and 2021.
Will Messi claim his eighth Ballon d'Or this year? Let us know what you think.