Ronald Koeman believes Messi will win his seventh Ballon d’Or title.
The Barcelona talisman helped Argentina win the Copa America in Brazil and is the favourite to be named the best player on the planet.
The Argentine won the coveted prize on six occasions and an international silverware was only missing in his illustrious CV.
Ronald Koeman believes the 34-year old deserves recognition in terms of his performance for both club and country in the past 12 months.
Messi, whose contract with Barcelona expired on June 30 is currently now a free agent but the Catalan giants are on the verge of tieing him to a five-year deal.
“He is vitally important. For what he brings to the team, he’s the captain and an example. His goalscoring has been brilliant despite a difficult start,” Koeman said.
“He has shown time and again he is the best in the world. I know how much he wanted to win the Copa América and he has done it at last. Messi is the prime candidate for the Ballon d’Or after a great season and for me he is the favourite.”