Michel Platini believes that it would not be undeserved if Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi wins the 2012 Fifa Ballon d'Or, and becomes the first ever player to win the prestigious individual award four times in a row.
The Uefa president currently shares the record of winning the prize three straight years with the Argentina international, but the 25-year-old could become the sole record-holder if he comes out victorious once again this year.
"Records are there to be beaten. If he wins it again, it's because he deserves it," Platini told Ouest-France.
"He's still only 25 years old and has every opportunity to leave his mark for all eternity."
Fifa and France Football will announce the final three candidates for the 2012 Fifa Ballon d'Or at a press conference in Sao Paulo later on Thursday.