- Erling Haaland had no place for Cristiano Ronaldo as he named the top three best players of 2021
- The Dortmund ace praised Lionel Messi, Lewandowski, and Karim Benzema as the best in the world
- The three had a successful 2021, with Messi picking his seventh Ballon d'Or award ahead of Lewandowski
Borussia Dortmund hotshot Erling Haaland has shunned Cristiano Ronaldo and named Lionel Messi among the three best players in the world of 2021.
Haaland also included Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema and Bayern's Robert Lewandowski in his list of top three players of 2021.
The trio of Benzema, Messi, and Lewandowski had a fantastic 2021, with each of them, except Benzema winning top individual prizes.
Lewandowski, having lost the Ballon d'Or to Messi back in November was recently named the 2021 Best FIFA Men's Player of the Year.
The prolific Pole striker took home the award for the second consecutive year following a spectacular goalscoring run of form that saw him net an eyewatering 69 goals to break Gerd Muller's record for most Bundesliga goals in a calendar year of 43.
Messi, on his part, won his seventh Ballon d'Or after he helped Argentina win the Copa America and found the back of the net 40 times.
Benzema, meanwhile, also had a superb year as he scored 30 goals as Real Madrid narrowly missed out on the La Liga crown.
And when asked to name his top three players of 2021, Haaland had no problem picking his choices.
"That’s a good question. I think you have to say Lewandowski is number one," the Norwegian told Sky Sports.
"And then for me you have Benzema, he’s also been amazing, but Messi is also outstanding. So Benzema and Messi shared second and third place," he added.
Roma surprise Mourinho on his birthday
Earlier, Sports Brief reported Jose Mourinho was all smiles as his Roma players and staff treated him to a cake and champagne on his birthday.
The cake was themed in Roma's iconic home colours of carmine red with golden yellow trim.
Mourinho's perfect birthday gift came days earlier as his Roma side demolished Empoli 4-2 in a Serie A clash.