Lionel Messi should not be regarded as a Ballon d'Or winner, according to former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf, because of a red card he received last season.
The Argentine sensation is up against Chelsea teammates Cesar Azpilicueta, N'Golo Kante, Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount, and Jorginho for the prestigious honor.
Messi, who has won the trophy six times in his career, is considered to be among the favorites once again, especially after Argentina's Copa America victory.
However, Leboeuf has cited an incident in January in which the 34-year-old screamed at Athletic Club's Asier Villalibre in the dying minutes of the Spanish Supercopa, collecting his first red card of his Barcelona career, as the reason for his failure to win a seventh title.
Talking to Telefoot, Leboeuf said: "In 2000 and 2006, Zidane did not have the Ballon d'Or because he had taken a red card each time.
“Messi took a red in the Spanish Supercopa for a punch, that can count. If we didn't give it to Zizou, we shouldn't give it to Messi."
Messi, of course, was sensational for Barcelona last season, finishing with 38 goals and 14 assists across all competitions before joining French giants Paris Saint-Germain.