2023 Ballon d’Or: Haaland’s Man City Teammate Backs Messi to Win Award

2023 Ballon d’Or: Haaland’s Man City Teammate Backs Messi to Win Award

Chukwu Ikechukwu
updated at October 18, 2023 at 3:43 PM
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  • Rodri has tipped Lionel Messi to claim the 2023 Ballon d’Or award
  • The Argentine maestro is gunning for a record-extending eight title
  • Messi and Erling Haaland are among top contenders for this year

Rodri has caused a bit of a stir after the Spanish midfielder backed Lionel Messi to win the 2023 Ballon d'Or award ahead of his Manchester City teammate, Erling Haaland.

Haaland led the Citizens to a record-breaking campaign in 2022/23, winning the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup titles, but all that is not enough to convince his EPL teammate.

Lionel Messi, Argentina, Erling Haaland, Manchester City, Rodri, Ballon d'Or
Lionel Messi is in line to win a record-extending eight Ballon d'Or crown according to leaked results. Photo by Mariano Bazo
Source: Getty Images

According to GOAL, Rodri - who has also been nominated for the 2023 prize - believes the accolade will be won for a record eight times by Messi when the winner is announced on October 30.

"I think a certain Leo Messi is going to take it. Haaland is also a very large figure and has merits."

Messi guided Argentina to their third World Cup crown in Qatar, winning the Golden Ball in the tournament as the best player, and also won a second Ligue 1 title at Paris Saint-Germain in 2022/23.

Stats behind Messi’s impending Ballon d’Or win

Meanwhile, Argentina's World Cup success in November 2022 propelled Messi as the favourite to land his eighth Ballon d’Or award despite Man City’s treble-winning campaign, Whoscored reports.

In Qatar, the 36-year-old forward earned a better rating than any other player as he ranked joint-first for assists, second for goals, second for key passes, and third for successful dribbles.

While the entire Argentina squad deserves credit for the team's success in the Middle East, Messi was the hero and led Lionel Scaloni's side to their first World Cup victory since 1986.

Messi reportedly set to win Ballon d'Or

Sports Brief also reported that Messi could win his eighth Ballon d'Or later this month after the male and female award winners for 2023 were 'leaked'.

The 36-year-old achieved the pinnacle of his illustrious football career by leading Argentina to a spectacular FIFA World Cup victory in Qatar last year.

Subsequently, Messi made a significant impact upon joining Inter Miami in July, captivating the MLS team with a series of superstar performances.

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Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..