France Football’s editor-in-chief has dismissed a report that Lionel Messi has already been told he has won the 2021 Ballon d’Or.
Portuguese broadcaster RTP reported on Friday that Messi has already been made aware he will win a record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or ahead of the awards ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on November 29.
A jury of 53 sports journalists are said to have cast their votes around two weeks ago, raising speculation as to who they have opted for.
But France Football’s Pascal Ferre, who issue football’s most prestigious individual award, has called reports of a leaked a result “a big bluff”.
“That’s a lot of b******t we’ve seen in the last 10 days. A big bluff,” Ferre said in an interview with German broadcaster Bild.
Alongside Messi, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is among the favourites to win the award later this month following a prolific 12 months for the Bavarians and Poland.
Meanwhile, Messi had said it would be crazy if he won a record extending seventh Ballon d’Or.
The 34-year-old told Sport recently: “If the Ballon d’Or arrives it would be extraordinary for what it would mean winning one more. The seventh would be crazy.
“If not, nothing happens. I have already achieved one of my great goals. I am very happy for what happened and now that whatever has to happen happens.”