Jermaine Jenas believes the ballon d’or should go to either Modric or Kante, as he feels they have overlooked creative players due to their focus on Messi and Ronaldo.
The ballon d’or has gone to Messi and Ronaldo in the last decade, with Kaka the last player to have won it outside the two.
Jenas believes that World Cup winning players in deeper role deserve to be part of the discussion too and he thinks that with the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi having never won it, it may be hard for players in deeper roles to get their ultimate recognition.
“You would like to think so [that others can compete for the Ballon d’Or],” BT Sport pundit Jenas told Goal. “I feel like we are in an era where there is a lack of respect to other footballers, even in light of what Messi and Ronaldo have done.
“What they have done is amazing but I feel like at the start of the season we just say whoever is best out of Messi and Ronaldo, gets the award. When you consider that players like Andres Iniesta or Xavi never won the Ballon d’Or then no one can.
“These two players, Messi and Ronaldo, don’t seem human and have had great seasons but if you really look at others players. Like Modric this year, [Franck] Ribery for Bayern a few years ago could have got it and he didn’t get a sniff.
“Now Kante is in that scenario, no matter what he does, he will get some recognition but never THE recognition for what he does. Even off the back of winning the World Cup, someone like Paul Pogba will get more plaudits. He had a great World Cup as well, but there’s a popularity thing as part of it.”
“I just watch football but the personality side of it is big too. [Paul] Pogba announced with Stormzy upon signing for Manchester United and the haircuts, I loved all that stuff. I came from an era where that would be unacceptable, where you kind of got told what to do.
“He puffs out his chest and he says, this is me, this is my style. You look at Kante, he looks like the shyest man in the world and from what I know from people who know him, he is extremely humble. There’s a lot to like about both but when it comes to getting noticed then Pogba is always going to be at the front.
“Pogba sells more shirts and he is big on social media. Kante has had great credit so far, but I don’t think he will ever win the Ballon d’Or.”