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Rio Ferdinand & Peter Crouch believe that Lionel Messi does not deserve to win Ballon d'Or this year

Arjun Singh Devgan
Lionel Messi is the favourite to win the Ballon d'Or award this year
Lionel Messi is the favourite to win the Ballon d'Or award this year / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand and former Liverpool striker, Peter Crouch have opened up on who deserves to win the Ballon d'Or award this year - claiming that record six-time winner, Lionel Messi is not the most deserving recipient of the award this time around.

Messi has been heavily tipped to pick up his seventh honour after starring for a poor Barcelona side last season, while also playing a major role in helping Argentina win their first Copa America title since 1993.

The two pundits for their part believe that Bayern Munich hitman, Robert Lewandowski deserves to win the award this year, considering that he has established himself as the best striker in the world over the past three years.

"I can't argue with Lionel Messi, can I? Let's be honest. But I just think if Robert Lewandowski doesn't win a Ballon d'Or in his lifetime, I think it would be a travesty. And I think this year, with the amount of goals he's scored... he's got 22 goals now and it's October - I didn't get 22 goals in May! This is a special, special player. Ronaldo and Messi have always been the benchmark, always, but Robert Lewandowski, it's his time to potentially win it this year," Crouch said on BT Sport.

"In the calendar year, by the way, in the 38 games he's played he's got 50 goals. No one is near that. This is today in the game, the goals are ridiculous, he scores every type of goal - that's what I love about him. He's got your No.9 goals where you're at the back post heading balls in like that, he's got deft touches," Ferdinand added.

It will be interesting to see which player does eventually win the award come next month, though there is no doubt that Lewandowski was unfortunate not to win the honour last year after the ceremony was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.