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Ferdinand tips ‘fabulous’ Musiala as future Ballon d’Or winner

Ferdinand tips ‘fabulous’ Musiala as future Ballon d’Or winner

Jamal Musiala has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or, according to Rio Ferdinand, while Owen Hargreaves believes clubs should be “throwing the kitchen sink” at Bayern Munich to try and sign the youngster.

At the age of 21, Musiala has already amassed 25 caps for Germany and 153 appearances for Bayern, winning four Bundesliga titles along the way.

Speaking ahead of Bayern’s UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg against Lazio on Tuesday, former Manchester United and England defender Ferdinand explained why he holds the attacking midfielder in such high regard.

“He’s a fabulous footballer. In a world where we talk about stats and data, he ticks that box, but it’s on the eye test where he comes alive; the way he receives the ball, he’s elusive, he rides a tackle and gets through traffic with HD. He’s a fantastic footballer,” Ferdinand said.

He added: “I think the highest compliment I can give him is that I don’t know where his ceiling is. Most players even at 20/22 years old, you go ‘I think they are going to get to this level and that’s them.’

“This guy has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or. I’ve said it before, he has the potential to do that if the path goes the right way for him and he’s in a successful team. That’s the platform and foundation for that.”

Former Bayern midfielder Hargreaves has also been blown away by the rapid development of the former England Under-21 international.

“The hardest thing in football is to receive the ball in tight spaces on the half-turn and he makes it look so easy,” Hargreaves explained.

“He rarely ever loses the ball, which is crazy. Normally technical players further up the pitch turn over the ball a lot, but Jamal just has a feel for it. He’s a super special player.”

It has been a difficult season for Bayern, who must overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit against Lazio to avoid crashing out of Europe’s top competition earlier than expected.

Their Bundesliga title defence has also gone awry, with the Bavarians sitting 10 points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen, and the club recently announced that manager Thomas Tuchel will depart at the end of the season.

Amid the uncertainty, some speculation around Musiala’s future has emerged, with the 21-year-old’s current contract in Munich set to expire in June 2026, and Hargreaves believes a large queue would quickly form should he become available.

“Everybody would want him because he walks into literally every team: Real Madrid, Man City, I think he plays for everyone,” Hargreaves said.

“But Bayern won’t want to lose him, he’s too good at that age, a German national team player as well. If I was any team, I would say throw the kitchen sink at it, get the money out and buy him.”

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