Following recent reports claiming that Lionel Messi has already been told he will win a record seventh Ballon d'Or, award organisers France Football has now responded in emphatic fashion.
Portuguese broadcaster RTP reported late last week that the Argentine superstar had already been informed that he will be the winner of the 2021 Ballon d'Or, although the victor will only be publicly revealed on 29 November.
Scroll through the gallery above to see the seven 2021 Ballon d'Or frontrunners, per Goal
It is understood that a panel of 53 journalists cast their votes for the winner around two weeks ago, and this is said to have given rise to rumours as to who they voted for.
However, award organisers France Football's editor-in-chief Pascal Ferre has now rubbished claims Messi has already been told he is the winner with a vehement response.
"That's a lot of b******t we've seen in the last 10 days. A big bluff," he told Bild.
Marca had previously reportedly that the voting results had been leaked, with that list suggesting that Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski would be the eventual winner of this year's prestigious award.
The Spanish outlet backed their claim with the argument that when Luka Modric won the award back in 2018, leaked voting results had correctly revealed that the Croatian would be the eventual winner weeks before it was officially announced.
Here are the previous five winners of the Ballon d'Or award