Sergio Ramos has backed his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d'Or for a record seventh time.
Messi, even with a shock summer transfer to PSG from Barcelona, has 24 goals in 28 league games this calendar year and led Argentina to the Copa America in the summer.
Even though it has been a turbulent year at Barca, Messi also won his seventh Copa del Rey title at the club before departing for Ligue 1 on a free transfer.
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The 34-year-old is one of the frontrunners on a 30-man shortlist to pick up the men's award, but faces stiff competition from the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho, Karim Benzema , along with 26 others who have enjoyed outstanding years for club and country.
Ramos wishes Messi "all the luck in the world" ahead of the prestigious awards ceremony on Monday evening.
"Yes, of course [I hope he wins]," Ramos told ESPN. "I'm going to defend the guys in my team. I wish him all the luck in the world.
"He's in good shape, and I think he's the kind of player who really makes a difference. He's a unique player and it's a privilege to have him in the team.
"I think that bit by bit, each of us is going to bring our own quality to make Paris Saint-Germain even greater and achieve the things we want to achieve."
Ramos made his long-awaited PSG debut in Ligue 1 alongside Messi in their 3-1 win over Saint-Etienne on Sunday.
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WHO IS NOMINATED FOR THE MEN’S 2021 BALLON D’OR?
- Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
- Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
- Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
- Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
- Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
- Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain)
- Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
- Phil Foden (Manchester City)
- Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
- Jorginho (Chelsea)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham)
- N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
- Simon Kjaer (AC Milan)
- Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
- Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)
- Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
- Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
- Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
- Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
- Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
- Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)
- Mason Mount (Chelsea)
- Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
- Pedri (Barcelona)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
- Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
- Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
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