I hope Messi wins the Ballon d'Or – Zanetti

The Argentine is adamant that the Barcelona star remains the best player in the world, with Cristiano Ronaldo the heavy favourite to retain the award

Inter and Argentina legend Javier Zanetti is hoping that his compatriot Lionel Messi can win the Fifa Ballon d’Or in January.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the current front runner for the award after leading Real Madrid to their 10th Champions League title, with Manuel Neuer completing the three-man shortlist.

Barcelona had a barren year last term, but Messi led his country to the World Cup final, where they lost to Germany, and Zanetti retains hope that he could scoop the prize.

“I’m hoping that Messi wins it – he’s a true great,” former Inter stalwart Zanetti told FIFA.com.

“He never stops surprising people: at any given moment he’s capable of improvising with a touch of skill or something spectacular that can win you a game.

“In my view, he’s the best player in the world.”

Messi won the Ballon d’Or four straight times between 2009 and 2012, with Ronaldo beating him to the award in 2008 and 2013.

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