The Manchester City attacker has stated his belief that he has what it takes to win the prestigious award if the Barcelona ace fails to maintain his high level
The Argentina international followed in the footsteps of France legend Michel Platini earlier this year when he won the prestigious individual trophy for the third time in succession, but Balotelli is ready to take Messi's place once his form dips.
"I can win the Ballon d'Or, but only if Messi's level drops a bit," the former Inter attacker was quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"It will be very complicated to do so if he keeps up his current form. I really believe I can win the award, but there's not much I can do if Messi maintains this level."
The 21-year-old attacker joined Manchester City from Inter in the summer of 2010, and has become an important first-team member at the Citizens this season.