Jorginho deserves Ballon d’Or recognition despite Rio Ferdinand claims and Luka Modric proves it – Anita Abayomi


Jorginho is one of the frontrunners to take home the prestigious Ballon d’Or prize this year, with his competition consisting of well-known names such as Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema and Mohamed Salah.

The question on everyone’s lips is, ‘is he deserving of this prize even though he only scores from penalties’. It’s not a straightforward one – but there are definite

Contrary to Rio Ferdinand’s outspoken opinion on Jorginho, the Italian midfielder rightfully deserves to be named amongst the best names in football at the moment. On the other hand, he has a point in saying Lewandowski’s goal involvement numbers are just incomparable at the moment.

“The Jorginho one baffles me,” Rio Ferdinand said on BT Sport. “He’s not the best player at Chelsea and he’s not the first name on the team-sheet with Italy either.”

“He’s a very good player don’t get me wrong and I’m not trying to be disrespectful at all, but I don’t see how he gets on the list with those players – with the levels that these guys have been playing at.”

Chelsea fans may feel as if Ferdinand’s evaluation of the player as unfair and striker-biased but he may have a point. He did point out that N’Golo Kante would be more deserving of a place in the list over his midfield teammate but Chelsea fans would universally recognise that Jorghino has been a phenomenal addition to Chelsea‘s first-team ranks, even if he had some initial teething problems.

Maurizio Sarri famously brought the Italian with him from Napoli to Chelsea and the wider footballing world were baffled as to what his role actually was. His attributes have previously been ridiculed by fans and pundits who have claimed him to be too “weak” for the Premier League.

In recent years, his skill set has been widely appreciated. The ability to dictate the game from midfield, play important passes and orchestrate the flow of play has received more and more praise – and rightfully so.

Ferdinand’s remarks have prompted plenty of discussion amongst Blues but also among other fanbases and, as a Chelsea fan, I can understand why his comments have divided opinion. I mean, how dare he call out one of our own, right?



BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on September 25, 2021 in London, England.
Rio Ferdinand thinks Jorginho shouldn’t be named as a Ballon d’Or contender ahead of Lewandowski

I look at this discussion and wonder why Luka Modric was able to win the Ballon d’Or award without an eyelid being batted at the time. The BT Sport pundits took a look at each contender’s goalscoring record so far this year. Naturally, Jorginho landed rock bottom with just seven goals compared to the next goal tally which was Mo Salah with 30.

In 2018, Modric managed just four goals over a calendar compared to Lionel Messi’s 31. He had also won the Champions League and was runner-up in the 2018 Fifa World Cup. If we are to be fair and compare the two midfielders and their claim to the Ballon d’Or, it’s easily arguable that Jorginho deserves it more for winning the Champions League and winning the European Championships.

Despite the claim that Jorginho is not the first player on Italy’s teamsheet, he started every single match during the Euros including and played a pivotal role in holding down the midfield. In fact, he was so important to the Italian side that he played the most minutes in Roberto Mancini’s squad.

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Jorginho’s importance to both club and country shares the same level as Luka Modric in 2018. And while you cannot discredit the likes of Lewandowski, Messi, and Salah, silverware should be a key consideration as part of this award. That’s where Jorginho comes out on top above any other and why he deserves his place on this list.

I really wish the awards had been hosted in 2020. A COVID-19-controlled environment, a remote ceremony or even just a postponement would have sufficed. Lewandowski would have secured his prize, deservedly after winning the Champions League in emphatic style whilst overtaking Gerd Muller’s crazy record of 41 goals scored in a single Bundesliga season. Maybe if that happened we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Follow our CareFreeChelsea writer Anita Abayomi on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section. If you enjoyed reading this, then give my other articles a read.





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