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Barcelona star Lionel Messi reveals he would give anything for the Ballon d'Or and he believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic as well as Kaka are also in the running for the award...

The Argentina hit-man has been outstanding for Barcelona and he is favourite to win the Golden Ball alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi has spoken of all things Calcio and he believes Italian striker Giuseppe Rossi has a great future ahead of him. The striker also reveals his sadness that Ronaldinho is not included in the list of nominees.

"I don't know what I would give for the Ballon d'Or as I would be the first Argentine to win it. [Alfredo] Di Stefano won it as a Spaniard and [Omar] Sivori did it as an Italian," Messi told La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

"I am really sorry that Ronaldinho is not in the running for the award. I speak with him all the time and we text each other. He is happy at Milan and he is always getting better.

"Ronnie is a phenomenon even as a person. When Italians get to know him well you will say I was right.

"Who would I give the award to? I would give it to Aguero, but I think Torres and Xavi deserve it too.

"Cristiano Ronaldo, Rooney, Ibrahimovic and Kaka are all in the running. The only one missing is Iniesta and I don't understand why as he is great.

"Ibrahimovic? He is great. He scores incredible goals and he has improved so much since he has played for Inter as well as the arrival of Jose Mourinho. You can tell he is having fun.

"Rossi? I saw him against Atletico. He is a great goalscorer and he has a massive future ahead of him."

Messi then had a few words on Argentina and the decision to give Diego Maradona the coaches' job.

"I know Diego appreciates me and I have no trouble with what he said about me in the past," added Messi.

"There will be no problems with him on the bench. He is a great man and I admire him for what he gave Argentinian football."

Salvatore Landolina

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