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Soccer News of Tuesday, 24 October 2023


2023 Ballon d’Or: Ronaldo backs Lionel Messi to win prestigious award ahead of Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland & Lionel Messi Erling Haaland & Lionel Messi

Brazilian legend Ronaldo Nazario de Lima has shared his perspective on the race for the 2023 Ballon d'Or prize, offering insights into his choice between Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland.

As the highly anticipated award ceremony approaches on October 30 at the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris, France, Messi and Haaland stand out as the leading candidates for the prestigious football accolade.

A victory for the esteemed Argentine would mark a record-breaking eighth Ballon d'Or win, solidifying his unparalleled legacy in the sport.

Meanwhile, for the Manchester City forward, clinching the award would signify a historic milestone as the first male Norwegian player to achieve this honour.

While Messi currently enjoys frontrunner status for this year's award, multiple reports, as cited by GOAL, indicate that the Inter Miami star is poised to reclaim the title of the world's best player.

Nonetheless, fierce competition from players such as Haaland and Kylian Mbappe adds an intriguing layer to the race for the coveted prize.

Messi's performance in the year under review

In addition to securing the World Cup victory in December 2022, he also claimed both the French Super Cup and Ligue 1 titles with Paris Saint-Germain.

His impressive performance throughout the season included 21 goals and 20 assists in 41 matches across various competitions for the Parisians.

Haaland's Ballon d'Or shout

Throughout various competitions, the Norwegian standout showcased his dominance, contributing significantly to his club's historic achievements, while his primary rival chose to conserve his efforts for the World Cup.

Haaland's remarkable record of 52 goals in 53 matches across all competitions last season played a pivotal role in Manchester City's triumphant treble.

Ballon d'Or: Ronaldo picks between Messi and Haaland

Ronaldo Nazario, a two-time winner of the Ballon d'Or prize, unveiled his choice, championing Messi as the deserving winner.

"The Ballon d'Or should go to him [Lionel Messi], without a doubt," the Brazilian said as quoted by Sportskeeda.

"What Messi did in the World Cup was special. It reminded me of the campaigns of Pelé and Maradona."