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Haaland or Messi? Guardiola makes Ballon d’Or claim

Erling Haaland, Lionel Messi
© Ace Football

The Manchester City manager weighed in on which player should win the prestigious Ballon d’Or accolade in 2023.

Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi are both deserving winners of the Ballon d’Or, according to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Both players have made strong claims for the prize. Haaland scored 52 goals to help City claim a remarkable treble last season, while Messi led Argentina to a first World Cup in over three decades.

“The Ballon d’Or has to be two sections. One for Messi, and after look for the others,” Guardiola said at a press conference on Friday.

“So, Haaland should win – Yes. We won the treble and he scored 50 million goals. The worst season of Messi is the best for the rest.

“Both deserve it, so what can I say?”

On October 30, France Football will unveil the latest Ballon d’Or victor in a ceremony in Paris.

Messi is chasing a record-extending eighth award, while Haaland hopes to win it for the first time in his career.

Aside from Haaland, City have six other players nominated for the Ballon d’Or. These are Julian Alvarez, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, and Josko Gvardiol.

Former captain Ilkay Gundogan, who joined Barcelona in the summer, is also a nominee.