Messi anoints Salah, Lewandowski as next Ballon d'Or winners

Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah finished second and seventh respectively in voting for the 2021 Ballon d'Or award

Lionel Messi believes Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah will get opportunities to win the  Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi has thrown his weight behind Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah to win the Ballon d'Or title in the future. The Paris Saint-Germain forward believes that the duo will get more opportunities to win the prestigious award in the nearest future.

Messi was awarded the 2021 Ballon d'Or trophy on Monday night, with Lewandowski coming in second place and Salah finishing a relatively lowly seventh position. Messi stated that both players are playing their best football at the moment and would have more chances to snap up the award soon.

"Salah will have opportunities in the years to come. Both players [Salah and Lewandowski] are at their best at the moment and will have more chances to win it," the PSG forward said.

On the occasion of winning a record-extending Ballon d'Or award, Messi accepted that he is not sure if any other player can match his feat and win as many Ballon d'Or awards as he has.

While accepting his award, the Argentine captain said: "I don’t know if the record is beatable. I just have to accept it but I’m not sure if it can be beaten."

The second-highest winner of the Ballon d'Or award is Cristiano Ronaldo who has won it five times. Messi and Ronaldo have won 12 of the last 13 Ballon d'Or awards between them with only Luka Modric (2018) breaking the duopoly on football's biggest individual award.

However, the rise to stardom of other major contenders such as Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah, and Kylian Mbappe has many pundits suggesting that the Messi-Ronaldo stranglehold on the title might be broken soon.

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