Lorenzo Insigne has insisted that there is a strong case for Chelsea star Jorginho to be shortlisted for the 2021 Ballon d’Or.
Jorginho lifted the Champions League title with Chelsea last season and has carried over his superb form into Italy’s Euro 2020 campaign this summer.
The 29-year-old former Napoli midfielder has started every match for Roberto Mancini’s men at the Euros, with Italy now through to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Jorginho’s Chelsea teammate N’Golo Kante has been widely tipped as one of the favourites to scoop the Ballon d’Or award.
However, Insigne believes that his Italy teammate “deserves” to be a contender for France Football’s coveted prize, adding that he is “proud to have him in our team.”
When asked about Jorginho deserving the Ballon d’Or, he said: “We have quality players. You talked about Jorginho and it’s correct.
“He had spent some fantastic years at Chelsea and I am proud to have him in our team.
“I’m not the one deciding if he deserves the Ballon d’Or, but I hope he’ll be shortlisted, he deserves so, he is a great player.
“I call him the professor and we are all happy to play with him.”
Italy topped Group A with three wins before securing a 2-1 victory over Austria in their round-of-16 clash at Wembley on Saturday.
The four-time World Cup winners will now face Belgium, who dumped 2016 European champions Portugal out in a 1-0 win on Sunday.
Insigne has been a central part of Mancini’s plans as he scored in Italy’s opening 3-0 Euro 2020 win over Turkey.
The 30-year-old winger previously featured at Euro 2016 under former Italy manager Antonio Conte, but he insisted that he now has “more chances with Mancini.”
Insigne explained: “I was younger during the other competitions, but in the past, Italy played with a different system, so I had to adapt.
“I’ve always thanked Conte and [Cesare] Prandelli for bringing me to the World Cup and the Euros, but now I have more chances with Mancini. This system is suitable for my characteristics and those of all the other players.
“I have a big responsibility wearing the No 10 shirt, but I don’t want to put pressure on my shoulders. I always try to be light-hearted. The coach gives me many suggestions, he was a footballer, so he has a lot to teach us.
“The youths are giving us their enthusiasm. This is the first time I play an international competition as a protagonist and I am proud of it.
“I am living a fairytale and I am going beyond my limits to repay the coach’s and the team’s trust.”
Italy and Belgium will clash on 2nd July at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
Featured Image Credit: PA