Shakhtar Donetsk manager, Roberto De Zerbi, has named Juventus and Italy captain, Giorgio Chiellini, to be among potential contenders for the 2021 Ballon d’Or alongside Chelsea’s Jorginho and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
De Zerbi believes Chiellini could challenge Jorginho and Messi for the Ballon d’Or after guiding Italy to win the Euro 2020 trophy this summer.
Chiellini, who is currently a free agent, captained Roberto Mancini’s side to silverware after Italy defeated England on penalties in the final at Wembley earlier this month.
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, De Zerbi said, “If you look at the trophies he’s [Jorginho] won, he deserves it [Ballon d’ Or].
“He is such a smart midfielder. When I was at Sassuolo, I used to tell Maxime Lopez to watch him closely because he sees football one hour before the others.
“You won’t notice him many times, but he was one of Italy’s key players with Gigio Donnarumma, Leo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
“However, Messi remains Messi and, until he plays, will be among the candidates.
“Fabio Cannavaro won the Ballon d’Or in the past, so I don’t see why Chiellini shouldn’t win it for the spirit he had at the Euros.”