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The 34-year-old Argentine forward was in superb goalscoring form for Barcelona last season and scored 30 times in 35 La Liga appearances.
And Messi’s impressive tally fired him to his eighth Pichichi Trophy (Marca’s top scorer award for a La Liga season) ahead of Karim Benzema and Gerard Moreno.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner also ended his long silverware drought with Argentina in the summer by lifting the Copa America title in Brazil.
Messi, who left Barcelona and moved to PSG, is widely considered one of the favourites to win the 2021 Ballon d'Or award.
Marca held a readers’ poll for who should win the Ballon d'Or, with Messi coming out on top of the pile with 34 per cent of the vote.
Benzema, who has been endorsed for the Ballon d'Or by the likes of Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, finished behind Messi with 26 per cent of the vote.
Joining Messi and Benzema on Marca readers’ Ballon d'Or podium is Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, who finished third with 11 per cent of the vote.
Marca claimed that Messi is the ‘clear’ favourite for France Football’s coveted prize and believe he has ‘no rival.’
The Spanish newspaper previously put out a massive endorsement for the Argentina captain to lift the Ballon d'Or award ahead of the likes of Jorginho and N'Golo Kante.
Messi was named on France Football’s 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or alongside PSG teammates Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino insisted that “without [a] doubt” the Barcelona legend should win the much-sought-after individual award.
“Messi must win the Ballon d'Or, without doubt,” he said.
“If I didn't coach Messi... I would still say Messi. I am speaking from the heart.”
Messi, who last lifted the Ballon d'Or in 2019, admitted that it would be “magnificent” if he won France Football’s prize.
“I don't feel like the favourite and I never liked to speak about this until the result,” he told France Football.
“If it happens, it would be magnificent.”
France Football will announce the winner of the 2021 Ballon d'Or at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on 29th November.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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