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The 29-year-old won the Champions League with Chelsea and followed that up with a stellar Euro 2020 campaign as Italy went all the way and defeated England on penalties to lift the Henri Delaunay trophy.
Jorginho's two European trophy wins for club and country have propelled him into contention for the richest individual prize in world football.
Messi is once again one of the favourites for the award, with many feeling his first ever international trophy win should see him claim a seventh Ballon d'Or.
The 34-year-old scored 38 goals in all competitions for Barcelona as they won the Copa del Rey and scored four and assisted five in a stunning Copa America tournament in Brazil.
But Zola, who worked with Jorginho during his time working as a coach with Chelsea, reckons his compatriot is the rightful choice.
"Now we are talking about a fantastic player like Messi who did extraordinary things for the first time with his national team - and this won't go unnoticed," Zola said, as per the Daily Mail.
"Should they give it to Jorginho? It would be deserved.
"He gives concrete balance and pace to his teams. I was lucky to have him at Chelsea and I know what he does on the pitch.
"It would be deserved because not only were his performances at a high level, but the teams he played for have been outstanding.
"This must be taken into account."
Jorginho's teammate Lorenzo Insigne is backing him to win the trophy Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated and the player himself has addressed the Ballon d'Or talk last week.
The former Napoli man believes it depends on the criteria France Football go off.
"We live for dreams," Jorginho told SportTV.
"But I'll be honest enough: it depends on the criteria that leads to assigning it.
"If we talk about talent, I'm aware I'm not the best in the world. If you choose based on titles, well, no-one has won more than me this season."