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Lionel Messi shouldn't win the Ballon d'Or this year due to the fact he received a red card.
That's the view of former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf, who compared the situation to the two times Zinedine Zidane was overlooked for the coveted prize.
Messi was his usual irresistible self in a poor Barcelona side last term, scoring 38 goals in 47 appearances.
In the summer, after a slew of final defeats, he then finally won an international trophy with Argentina when he captained La Albiceleste to a long-awaited Copa America triumph.
He won both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot for his stellar tournament and many believe the win, coupled with his performances, should be enough to see the PSG superstar collect a seventh Ballon d'Or.
But Lebouef is not having it and feels Messi does not deserve the award due to the red card he received for hitting out at Asier Villalibre of Athletic Bilbao in the Supercopa de Espana final in January.
"In 2000 and 2006, Zidane didn't win the Ballon d'Or because he got a red card in each year,” Lebouef said on TeleFoot.
“Messi got a red card in the Spanish Super Cup for punching someone, that counts. If we didn't give it to Zizou, we shouldn't give it to Messi."
🗣️ Leboeuf : "En 2000 et 2006, Zidane n'avait pas eu le Ballon d'Or parce qu'il avait pris un carton rouge à chaque fois. Messi a pris un rouge en Supercoupe d'Espagne pour un coup de poing, ça peut compter. Si on ne l'a pas donné à Zizou, on ne devrait pas le donner à Messi" pic.twitter.com/oSZ383N78d— Téléfoot (@telefoot_TF1) October 17, 2021
Messi's red, which was awarded by VAR for violent conduct, was the first time he was sent off in his club career.
Zidane, meanwhile, won the Ballon d'Or in 1998 when at Juventus but Lebouef is referring to the years of 2000 and 2006.
The Real Madrid legend came second in 2000 and weeks before Luis Figo's win, Zidane saw red for a headbutt against Hamburg and was given a five game ban as a result.
Then, six years later, in his final game as a footballer, he was at it again. In one of the most shocking moments in football history, Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.
He had earlier scored the opener from the spot but the iconic image will always be him walking past the Jules Rimet trophy.
Italy won on penalties and Azzuri defender Fabio Cannavaro won the Ballon d'Or following his contributions in that success.
After it was cancelled last year, the 2021 Ballon d'Or will be given out a ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on November 29.
As well as Messi, Karim Benzema, Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho are leading contenders for the award.