When we talk football, two names currently dominate the discourse: Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland. As the date for the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony approaches, speculation and anticipation reach fever pitch. This year, the golden question resonates louder than ever: Messi or Haaland?
The Stage is Set
The Ballon d’Or – a gleaming beacon of individual footballing excellence. This award has heralded the greatness of players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric. But this year, it’s a contest of raw talent against seasoned genius.
“Football isn’t just about scoring goals, it’s about winning hearts.” – Pelé
2023 Ballon D’or
The Ballon d’Or is one of the most prestigious individual awards in football, and the 2023 edition promises to be a unique battle.
The World Cup took place in the middle of the 2022-23 campaign, meaning it could be a distant memory by the time the votes were cast in August.
However, playing a starring role in Qatar boosted some players’ chances of competing for the Golden Ball, even with the winners of domestic and European titles grabbing the late-season attention.
The 30-man shortlist for the 2023 Ballon d’Or has been announced, and some of the world’s best footballers are among the nominees to succeed 2022 winner Karim Benzema in lifting the Golden Ball in Paris on October 30.
The top 5 favorites include Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr, PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, and of course, Man City Striker Erling Haaland and former PSG and current Inter Miami player Lionel Messi
However, the real spotlight narrows down to two: Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland.
Messi Vs. Haaland
Messi, who has claimed a record seven Ballon d’Or trophies in his illustrious career, is the favorite to win another after helping Argentina win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Meanwhile, Haaland was also nominated and could provide Messi’s strongest competition for the award.
The Norway striker scored 52 goals in 53 games in all competitions as Manchester City clinched the Premier League, FA Cup, and the Champions League titles.
The 23-year-old broke the Premier League’s single-season scoring record with 36 goals in his debut campaign in England.
Perhaps compared to Haaland, the 36-year-old Messi’s numbers may seem less impressive.
Last season he played in 41 games for PSG, scored 21 goals, and provided 20 assists.
However, two magic words overshadow all of this: World Cup.
Messi fulfilled his dream by leading Argentina to victory at the Qatar World Cup while Haaland watched the Mundial at home as his Norway failed to make it to the tournament
“Numbers matter, but so do moments. And football is made of moments.” – Anonymous
Here’s a quick snapshot of their performances this year:
|PlayerGoalsAssistsMajor TrophiesMessi21201 (World Cup)Haaland5273 (Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League)|
What To Expect?
The Ballon d’Or decision isn’t just about stats; it’s about influence, impact, and moments that leave an indelible mark. Haaland’s season has been meteoric, but Messi’s World Cup magic might just tip the scales.
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