- Lionel Messi is one of the leading contenders for this year’s Ballon d’Or following his exploits before leaving Barcelona in the summer
- The Argentine legend also led La Albiceleste to the Copa America triumph this year and won the tournament’s Golden Ball and Golden Boot
- Former France international Frank Lebouef has stated that Messi received a red card in January and does not deserve the award
Former Chelsea star Frank Lebouef has compared the situation of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner with that of Zinedine Zidane.
Lebouef disclosed that Zidane was overlooked in 2000 and 2006 due to the red cards he received in those respective years as other players took the coveted prize.
Messi has been named among favourites for the prestigious award this year after scoring a staggering 38 goals in 47 appearances for Barcelona last season.
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The 34-year-old also captained Argentina to the long-awaited Copa America glory and went ahead to win the competition’s Golden Ball and Golden Boot.
But Lebouef claims that the superstar should not be given the award, citing the red card he received for hitting out at Asier Villalibre of Athletic Bilbao in the Supercopa de Espana final in January.
Lebouef said on TeleFoot via 90min.
"In 2000 and 2006, Zidane didn't win the Ballon d'Or because he got a red card in each year.
“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."
Messi picks teammates for Ballon d’Or
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi has snubbed Cristiano Ronaldo on the list of nominees who he will vote to win this year's Ballon d'Or award.
Messi has won the award a record six times while playing for Barcelona, followed by Ronaldo, who has won five (one with Manchester United and four with Real Madrid).
And as we build up to yet another edition of the award, Messi says he would rather give the award to one of his PSG teammates - Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
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