Leeds: Lionel Messi deserves Ballon d’Or irrespective of whether he wins the Champions League with Barcelona or not, according to former Brazil striker Rivaldo.
"Even if he doesn't win the Champions League, however, he already deserves the Ballon d'Or," Goal.com quoted Rivaldo, as saying.
Messi, as of now, has five Ballon d'Or under his belt and if he lifts this year's award, it will take his tally to six.
Rivaldo lavished praised on Messi and expressed that it would be relishing to see Messi win the World Cup because a world-class player like him must be a world champion.
"I like him so much and I always say I feel so sad because he never won the World Cup with Argentina. It is an award he deserves because a world-class player like him must be a world champion," Rivaldo said.
"He has been scoring goals, giving assists and being the top scorer in La Liga for a long time and I think what he has been doing in the Champions League means his merits should be recognised," he added.
Champions League favourites Barcelona has entered in the tournament's semi-finals where they will compete with Liverpool on May 2.