Jorge Luiz Frello Filho, better known as Jorginho, is a Brazilian-born Italian international that also plays for Chelsea as a midfielder— and he may be the next Ballon d’Or winner. That’s right, Jorginho Ballon d’Or speculations are trending now that Italy is in the EURO 2020 finals.
The Ballon d’Or is considered to be the highest individual award in football and is awarded annually to the best player, taking domestic and international performances into consideration. England’s Stanley Matthews of Blackpool won the first award in 1956, while two Real Madrid players, Alfredo Di Stefano and Raymond Kopa, finished second and third.
Jorginho Ballon d’Or | Can The Italian Maestro Win?
The signature of unmatched achievement has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in recent years, with the two accounting for 11 of the last 12; Croatia’s Luka Modric was the lone standout, winning the award in 2018 after he most notably led his country to a second-place finish in the World Cup.
The Ballon d’Or was not awarded in 2020, due to the global pandemic, but it was presumed that Robert Lewandowski of Poland and Bayern Munich would have captured his first trophy.
The Polish goal-scorer had an even better year in 2021, scoring 41 goals in 34 goals and breaking Gerd Muller’s 49-year Bundesliga record. His country did not perform well in the European Championship, but Lewandowski did score three of his side’s four goals before exiting the competition after three matches.
Other candidates for the Ballon d’Or in 2021 are Ruben Dias, N’Golo Kante, Kevin De Bruyne, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Kylian Mbappe, to name a few. However, the lower-profile Jorginho seems to have snuck his way past the line and vaulted into the conversation for the favorite to win the award.
As a player at Chelsea, Jorginho made 28 appearances and scored seven goals to go with an assist; he served as the vice-captain behind Cesar Azpilicueta and was an integral component in the side after a midseason switch in managers saw Thomas Tuchel come into the coach’s box. Jorginho frequently featured in a double-pivot in midfield alongside either of Mateo Kovacic or N’Golo Kante and was a staple towards the end of the season.
Though he prefers to string together passes deeper in the midfield and knit things together rather than blast into the box, Jorginho led Chelsea— who finished fourth in the Premier League table— with seven goals, all from the penalty spot.
He has a patented penalty-kick style that involves a hop right before the strike, and forces the keeper to commit to a side before he has even struck the ball. Once the goalie has moved, Jorginho, keeping his eyes forward and off of the ball, can see where to slot the ball.
The Chelsea midfielder was also in the lineup for a 1-0 defeat in the FA Cup Final to Leicester City, but more importantly also in the Champions League Final, a 1-0 victory over Premier League Champions, Manchester City, which crowned Chelsea as the best team in Europe.
As if the domestic success was not enough, Jorginho has also reached the final of the European Championship as a featured starter, where he and his squad will face the winner of England and Denmark. Jorginho has played in all six of the matches and has been vital to the way that Italy plays, offering a high press in defense and quickly pushing the ball forward in transition to the wingers and overlapping fullbacks.
If Italy goes on to win the Euros, Jorghino will have won the Champions League, the European Championship, reached the FA Cup Final, and finished in the top-four in the Premier League, the most competitive in the world.
The Ballon d’Or does not usually go to less popular players, especially those that do not contribute a ton of goals and assists, but his resume would be impossible to ignore.
The Ballon d’Or winner will be announced towards the end of the year, so there is still time to change the minds of the voters, and there is no better way to do this than by winning an international competition. Get in on Jorginho as the eventual winner before Italy wins the Euros and his odds increase and his value lessens drastically.
Grant Mitchell is a sportswriter and multimedia contributor for the Sports 2.0 Network dealing with basketball, football, soccer, and other major sports: you can connect with him on Twitter @milemitchell to stay up to date with the latest sports news and to engage personally with him.