Seven-time World Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi and Manchester City striker Erling Haaland are the two strongest candidates to win the 2023 Golden Ball after being included on the 30-person shortlist.
One person suggested that the Norwegian striker refuse to receive the world golden ball in the coming years if he loses to Messi in this year’s race. Haaland is one of seven Manchester City players named on the 30-person shortlist for the Ballon d’Or award, which will be announced by France Football magazine in Paris on October 30.
For the first time in 20 years, this list has no place for five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo just joined Saudi Arabia’s Super Pro League to play for Al Nassr this year.
But Ronaldo’s longtime “rival” Messi is considered the best candidate to win the Ballon d’Or for the eighth time in his career thanks to winning the 2022 World Cup with Argentina, despite Haaland’s extremely poor season. impressive period at club level with Man City, while Messi failed miserably at PSG.
Individually and collectively, Erling Haaland had a very successful season at the club level. Haaland won a historic treble with Man City including the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, and the European Super Cup. Haaland was also the top scorer in the Premier League and Champions League last season. Recently, Haaland defeated Messi and teammate Kevin De Bruyne to win the European Football Federation’s (UEFA) Player of the Year award.
Now, former Chelsea and Scotland midfielder Craig Burley believes that the whole world is behind Messi to win Haaland to win the eighth world golden ball. Craig Burley affirmed that if Messi wins the 2023 Golden Ball, it would be unfair. He even urged Haaland to boycott the Golden Ball award in the future if Messi wins this award this year.
Craig Burley commented on ESPN: “If Erling Haaland doesn’t win this match, close the store. Lionel Messi won the World Cup and that was a great achievement, but that was just a period of 4 weeks. Messi’s general season performance is not the best. PSG is terrible.
Erling Haaland? More than 50 goals, a Premier League title, FA Cup and Champions League. Erling Haaland will win this award. I know that a lot of people out there can’t escape Messi’s clutches but let’s look at the bigger picture.
There will be a lot of people voting for Lionel Messi. The big picture here is that Erling Haaland has been achieving things for a long time. This award, like some others, makes me crazy but Erling Haaland is the one who deserves it.
But I think there will be emotional applause out there – Messi won the World Cup, Messi this, Messi that, and they will just give another golden ball to Messi. And if I were Erling Haaland, I would never win another Golden Ball in my life (if Messi wins the 2023 Golden Ball), like Robert Lewandowski.”
For the women’s Golden Ball, England’s Rachel Daly, Georgia Stanway, Millie Bright and Mary Earps are on the shortlist after the Three Lions reached the 2023 World Cup final. The Earps goalkeeper won the following Golden Glove when keeping 4 clean sheets at the 2023 World Cup, while Daly was also the top scorer in the Women’s Super League (English women’s football championship) last season.
Aitana Bonmati, who last week was named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, is one of six female candidates from Spain. Bonmati led Spain to the Women’s World Cup title last month. “Grateful and proud to be nominated alongside other outstanding players,” Bonmati said on social media.