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Lionel Messi snubs Jude Bellingham when naming the four players he thinks will challenge for next Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi snubs Jude Bellingham when naming the four players he thinks will challenge for next Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi picked four players he believes will be in contention for next year's Ballon d'Or.

Lionel Messi has named the four players he believes has the potential to win the Ballon d'Or - but Real Madrid sensation Jude Bellingham did not get a mention.

Messi picked up his eighth Ballon d'Or in Paris on Monday, having been voted as the best men's player in the world by 100 journalists from leading FIFA nations.

He pipped Erling Haaland and former PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe to the award, becoming the second-oldest recipient at 36 years of age.

It's clear Messi won't be around forever and he is now winding down with Inter Miami in the MLS.

And the Argentine has already had his say on which players will be in the mix for Ballon d'Ors in the coming years as we enter a new era.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

He gave props to the two men who finished below him in this year's top three, while he also shouted out Real Madrid and Brazil star Vinicius Jr.

There was also a special mention for 16-year-old Barcelona wonderkid Lamine Yamal, who is already Spain's youngest ever goalscorer and looks to have a bright future ahead of him.

As per L'Equipe, Messi said: "The players to compete for the Ballon d’Or in the coming years? There may be a very beautiful rivalry in the coming years with players like Haaland, Mbappe, Vinicius and many young players competing for the Ballon d'Or.

"I also think that Lamine Yamal, who is still very young and now plays for Barcelona, ​​will play a prominent role and fight for it in the future too, and certainly there will be others competing for it, new players that we do not know will appear, because there are always new players, and I think it will be a very beautiful era to enjoy.”

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Surprisingly Bellingham was not in Messi's thoughts despite winning the Kopa Trophy and finishing 18th in the Ballon d'Or rankings.

The 20-year-old has experienced an incredible start to life at Real, scoring 13 goals - including a match-winning brace in his El Clasico debut on Saturday.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Lionel Messi, Jude Bellingham, Barcelona, Ballon d'Or, Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr, Lamine Yamal