Pochettino names his Ballon d’Or top three, provides Kylian Mbappe update


The Argentine believes the award should go to one of his PSG players (Picture: Getty)

Maurico Pochettino believes Lionel Messi should win this year’s Ballon d’Or as he named a familiar-looking top three, while he remains confident Paris Saint-Germain can convince Kylian Mbappe to stay.

The 30-man shortlist for this year’s award was announced last Friday, with Chelsea’s Champions League-winning duo of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, who has already won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, among the favourites.

But Pochettino still feels Messi is the best player on the planet by some margin despite a somewhat disappointing campaign with Barcelona last season, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski round off his top three.

Messi’s new career with PSG finally ignited against Man City (Picture: Getty)

Asked to name his winner for this year’s award, which will be revealed next month, Pochettino told El Partidazo de COPE on Wednesday night: ‘The Ballon d’Or should go to Messi without any doubt.

‘And if I didn’t coach Messi, I would still say Messi. I answer with my heart. I always say what I feel.

‘On the podium with him would have to be Lewandowski and Cristiano.’

Interestingly, despite not naming any Chelsea players in his own Ballon d’Or rankings, Pochettino still believes the west Londoners are the favourites to retain the Champions League this season.

He added: ‘The favourite to win the Champions League is Chelsea, more than anything because they are the defending champion.’

This season, meanwhile, could be Mbappe’s last at the Parc des Princes with his contract set to expire next summer, though Pochettino is still hopeful that the French striker will commit his future to PSG.

He continued: ‘Mbappe is fine, he’s a calm boy with a lot of personality and a very sociable character, he is clear about things and loves football, he’s very mature for 22 years old.

Pochettino hopes…

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