The former Manchester United striker has given his thoughts on the race for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.
Dwight Yorke expects Lionel Messi to collect an eighth Ballon d’Or at the end of the year.
The 51-year-old accepts Haaland’s achievements over the past year make a strong case. The striker played a pivotal role in Manchester City’s treble. He smashed home 52 goals to help the club secure the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League titles.
Yet, based on his own experiences as a footballer, Yorke reckons there is no getting past Messi’s World Cup triumph with Argentina last winter.
“The World Cup may only be seven games, but it’s seen as the biggest prize in our sport,” he said in an interview with Getting Casino.
Yorke noted, “Haaland will have a great argument, but you can’t argue with what Messi’s done.”
Yorke recalls how he lost the 1999 award
The ex-striker was a key part of Manchester United’s treble-winning squad in 1998/99. He scored 29 goals in 52 appearances to help the Red Devils win the Premier League, FA Cup, and the Champions League.
But in the 1999 Ballon d’Or race, Yorke ended up 11th in the rankings. David Beckham was the highest-ranked United player in second, 65 points behind the winner Rivaldo.
Rivaldo won the award after playing a starring role in Brazil’s triumphant Copa America campaign and Barcelona’s LaLiga success.
“When I won the Treble in 1999,” Yorke reminisced, “I scored 29 goals and had 23 assists. I didn’t win the Ballon d’Or that year. Rivaldo did, even though I scored more goals in the Champions League that year.
“I didn’t even win the PFA Player of the Year!”
For the latest verdict on the 2023 Ballon d’Or favorites, visit our power rankings list here.