Cannavaro: ‘Messi deserves the Ballon d’Or, Donnarumma the best Italy player’

Fabio Cannavaro takes the World Cup during the ceremony after the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup between Italy and France at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

Italy legend Fabio Cannavaro believes Gigio Donnarumma is Italy’s best player and explains why Leo Messi deserves to win the Ballon d’Or.

The former Italy captain won the Ballon d’Or and the World Cup in the same year and, despite the Azzurri’s triumph at UEFA Euro 2020, Cannavaro believes Barcelona and Argentina star Leo Messi should be named best player of the year.

“He is the absolute No.1 and he was the protagonist of a great Copa America,” Cannavaro told Tuttosport.

Gigio Donnarumma and Jorginho are believed to be in the conversation for the Ballon d’Or as the goalkeeper was named Player of the Tournament, while Jorginho was crowned Champions of Europe with the Azzurri and Chelsea.

“Donnarumma is the real champion of this Azzurri side,” Cannavaro said.

“I am surprised that, before the Euros, somebody thought he was an average goalkeeper. There’s nothing average in Gigio, just think of the tranquillity he has at 22. He will be the best goalkeeper for the next 10-15 years.

“I am happy Giorgio Chiellini lifted the trophy,” the former Parma and Juventus defender continued.

“He was in the stands to watch the 2006 World Cup Final and I played with him too, I really respect Giorgio.”

Cannavaro and Chiellini played together at Juventus in the 2005-06 campaign. The Bianconeri won the Serie A title, but were relegated to Serie B in the summer due to the Calciopoli scandal. Cannavaro joined Real Madrid from Juventus after lifting the World Cup.

the 47-year-old had also played with Enrico Chiesa at Parma and the former centre-back believes Chiesa’s son Federico will become better than his father. The Juventus winger scored two goals at the Euros and was named MVP in two of the Azzurri’s games during the tournament.

“They are very similar, but Federico will become stronger,” Cannavaro said.

“He has no fear to hit back during a game, even when his team is facing a difficult time. This, in my opinion, was one of the few shortcomings of his father.”

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