Juventus defender Giorgio Chielllini says he hopes Italy teammate Jorginho wins the Ballon d'Or this year.
The Chelsea star was at the heart of the Blues' Champions League victory over Manchester City in this year's final, and then became an irreplaceable figure in Roberto Mancini's Azzurri side, which lifted the Euro 2020 trophy at Wembley Stadium at England's expense.
Speaking ahead of Juve's meeting with Chelsea in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday, Chiellini heaped further praise on Jorginho's shoulders, stating that he 'really hopes' the midfielder will win the Ballon d'Or for 2021, as quoted by Football Italia.
“I hope he’ll be able to win, he is a good friend of mine, [the Ballon d'Or] it’s an award I would feel like my own," the Juve defender said.
“He was involved in a win and emotions that will always be in our hearts. I’ve always thought he was a good player but after the first few training sessions, I realised how good he is, what a top player he is.
“He has great technical qualities, but the real difference is in his head. Many said he was only able to play with Sarri, but everywhere he goes he is a regular starter, I really hope he will win the Ballon d’Or.”
Jorginho is somewhat of a surprise contender for the prize of being crowned the best footballer in the world, given the criticism he has faced even from his own supporters in the recent past. However, he has silenced those doubters to become a key performer for club and country.
Chelsea's Champions League heroics owed plenty to his midfield partnership with N'Golo Kante, and he was ever-present for Mancini at the base of Italy's midfield in the summer.
Chiellini is not the only man who has talked up Jorginho's chances of winning the Ballon d'Or, either. Napoli and Italy winger Lorenzo Insigne revealed over the summer that he calls his teammate 'the professor', and believes he should at least be shortlisted for the prize.
“I’m not the one deciding if he deserves the Ballon d’Or, but I hope he’ll be shortlisted, he deserves so, he is a great player. I call him the professor and we are all happy to play with him.”