Ballon d'Or 2021 has already been 'leaked' - and the winner has been informed
The Ballon d'Or ceremony will take place in Paris on November 29, but the winner has reportedly already been leaked three weeks before the official announcement
Lionel Messi has reportedly already been crowned the best player in the world, weeks before the official Ballon d’Or announcement.
The ceremony for the annual award given to the best individual player is set to take place in Paris on November 29.
However, according to RTP Sports, Paris Saint-Germain star Messi has already been informed that he has won and has given an interview to organisers France Football.
If that is the case it will move Messi onto seven trophies, extending his lead at the top of the table for what is widely considered to be the most prestigious individual prize in football.
The prize will see the 34-year-old go two ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo's tally of five, and four ahead of Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten, the next nearest contenders, with three trophies each.
It will also see Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski miss out and Messi and Ronaldo’s dominance of the prize continue.
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric is the only player other than the pair to receive the accolade in the last 12 years - excluding 2020, when the prize was not awarded due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Messi was the favourite with the bookmakers, having scored 38 goals in 49 club appearances this year and been instrumental in winning the Copa America with Argentina over the summer.
Lewandowski was considered second favourite following a prolific year of goalscoring, while Jorginho was also in the running after winning the Champions League with Chelsea and Euro 2020 with Italy.
Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante and Kylian Mbappe were all considered outside shots for the gong.
Messi has started slowly since joining PSG from Barcelona in the summer, with three goals in eight appearances so far, all of which have come in the Champions League.
However, he was exceptional for Barca last season, contributing 30 goals and nine assists in 35 La Liga appearances, as well as five goals and two assists in six Champions League games.
He followed that campaign by starring for Argentina in their historic Copa America win over Brazil.
Messi’s PSG team-mate Mbappe paid tribute to the playmaker last month and backed him to win the prize once more.
“He's the best player in the world,” he said after PSG’s 3-2 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League on October 19.
“It's a privilege to play with him and it would be fully deserved if he won the Ballon d’Or.”