Mauricio Pochettino, the manager of Paris Saint-Germain, has endorsed Lionel Messi to win a record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or.
PSG colleagues Gianluigi Donnarumma, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar are among the 30-player shortlist.
There was, however, a reaction among the squad after Pochettino named the 34-year-old as his favoured winner.
Both Mbappe and Neymar have their sights set on the individual prize, which neither of them has ever won.
“I had a problem stating that Messi should win the Ballon d’Or,” Pochettino told Diario Sport.
“Why not them?” said Neymar and Mbappé.
“In any scenario, any player from Paris would be fantastic to win it, but Leo is deserving.”