London (AFP) – Thomas Tuchel said on Tuesday Chelsea midfielder Jorginho does not need Ballon d’Or recognition to prove he is among the world’s best after the Italian finished third in the prestigious player of the year award.
Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or for a seventh time on Monday, with Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski second in the voting and Jorginho third.
Jorginho helped Chelsea win the Champions League last season before emerging as a key figure in Italy’s Euro 2020 triumph.
And, while the 29-year-old was unable to cap a memorable year with the Ballon d’Or, the Blues boss is more interested in helping his players achieve collective success rather than personal plaudits.
“I have huge doubts about individual awards in this game because the game is very complex, it’s related to a lot of luck and it’s a team effort,” Tuchel told reporters.
“Not one single player can win a match of football, it’s not possible.
“If individual players shine, it’s always due to the team effort and that’s why it (club of the year) is a nice award.”
Asked whether he had expected Lewandowski to win the Ballon d’Or after two superb seasons in a row, Tuchel said: “I take my rights to not have an opinion on this one.
“We had ourselves a player (Jorginho) who won all major trophies and was hugely involved, so it would not have been a surprise if he had lifted the trophy.
“It was a choice and it’s an election and when it’s elected you have to take it and if you like it or not you accept it and life goes on pretty easy.”
Chelsea were voted the club of the year in the Paris awards ceremony and Tuchel added: “It shows the ambition of the club and this is what drives us, this is what makes us happy, and what motivates us.
“When you have a lot of nominees and get a prize like yesterday, it’s the proof that we showed what the club is all about and how the club is built.”
After winning the Champions League in his first season, Tuchel has the Premier League title in his sights, with his side one point clear at the top ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Watford.
Tuchel, who is already without injured trio Ben Chilwell, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante, will await late fitness tests on Jorginho, Reece James and Timo Werner following Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United.
“For tomorrow, we have some players in doubt, maybe we need a bit more time, a bit more examination to re-evaluate the status,” he said.
“It’s Reece James, Jorginho and Timo Werner. They all trained today with us and there will be some last-minute decisions about this.”