Football
Ronaldo Nazario picks his favourite between Lionel Messi & Erling Haaland for Ballon d’Or

Ronaldo Nazario picks his favourite between Lionel Messi & Erling Haaland for Ballon d’Or

Ronaldo Nazario picks Lionel Messi for Ballon d'Or winner for doing incredible work with Argentina to win the World Cup 2022.

The Ballon d’Or 2023 fight has come down to two players – Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland. Messi led Argentina to their 1st World Cup in 36 years. Whereas, Haaland helped Manchester City win the first-ever Champions League and treble in the club’s history in his first season. Both players have achieved extraordinary milestones in football this past season. Hence, the fight is neck-to-neck at this point. However, Brazil legend Ronaldo Nazario thinks Messi edges past Haaland for his accomplishments with Las Albicelestes. 

The Ballon d’Or 2023 award ceremony is set to be held on 30th October at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. Many players and managers around the world have already picked their favourites for the winner. Reportedly, when asked about his pick for the winner from this year’s nominations, Brazil legend Ronaldo Nazario said, “The Ballon d’Or should go to him [Lionel Messi], without a doubt. What Messi did in the World Cup was special. It reminded me of the campaigns of Pelé and Maradona.” 

Argentina captain Lionel Messi led them to win their first World Cup in 36 years last year. Messi’s journey with Argentina has never been smooth. He had witnessed 4 defeats in major international tournament finals. However, as the 2021 Copa America rolled in, Messi and Co. were extremely motivated. That determination showed when they won the tournament. They then went on to win the Finalissima against the European champions, Italy last year. Going into the World Cup, Argentina already had a 36-game unbeaten record.

They were favourites to win football’s biggest competition and they did not disappoint. Messi played a pivotal role in this win as their captain. He became the very first player to have won 5 Player of the Match awards in a men’s World Cup. Other than lifting the prestigious golden cup, he also won his second Golden Ball award at the end of the tournament. At the club level, Messi joined Inter Miami this summer. As the captain, he led Miami to win their first-ever trophy as well.

Brazil legend Ronaldo Nazario picks his favourite for Ballon d'Or 2023 award winner between current nominees Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland

On the other hand, Erling Haaland took one of the world’s best and toughest leagues, the Premier League, by storm. He joined England’s top-flight tournament at the start of the 2022-23 season. He solved Manchester City’s problem in the final third from the get-go. He helped them salvage several games and scored many goals on the way. In his first matches for Man City in both Premier League and Champions League, he bagged a brace in each. In his 5th match for Man City, Haaland got his hattrick.

With 52 goals throughout all competitions in his first season at Manchester City, he broke several records. He became the top goalscorer in the Premier League with 36 goals. Hence, he won the Golden Boot award at the end of the season. He helped Man City win their first-ever Champions League. Manchester City also won the Premier League, even though Arsenal stayed at the top of the table for the most part of the season. They also won the FA Cup and thus, completing their first treble.

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