‘I’d vote Messi first, second, third’

Sandro Rosell believes that: “If people ignore the political pressures and the media, then the Ballon d’Or should be awarded to Lionel Messi.”

The 26-year-old is in contention for the annual award handed out each January by organisers FIFA and France Football magazine to recognise the best player of the last 12 months.

Franck Ribery and Cristiano Ronaldo are also believed to be likely to make next month’s cut when the original 23-man shortlist is put down to a final three, but Barca’s President only sees one name in contention.

“I would vote in first Leo first, in second Leo and in third Leo,” explained Rosell to reporters at the Golden Shoe ceremony for Messi held in Barcelona today.

“Then Xavi and Iniesta, and Busquets in sixth.

“If people ignore the political pressures and the media, then the Ballon d’Or should be awarded to Leo.

“His recovery from injury? “We are sad for that, but I have seen Leo smiling, very happy. I am relaxed.

“I am convinced he will return equal to or better than before.”

Tags Messi Rosell