Messi vs Haaland Ballon d’Or Battle: Hazard and Giroud Explain Why World Cup Winner Should Win

Messi vs Haaland Ballon d’Or Battle: Hazard and Giroud Explain Why World Cup Winner Should Win

Elijah Odetokun
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland are locked in a battle for the 2023 Ballon d'Or
  • Both have had extraordinary individual and team achievements in the year under review
  • Chelsea legend Eden Hazard has picked a side in the battle and explained why

Chelsea legend Eden Hazard is the latest to wade into the ongoing debate on who should win the 2023 Ballon d'Or between Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland.

Both players are vying for football's most coveted individual award. For Haaland, it would be his first. For Messi, it'd be his record-extending eighth gong.

The Inter Miami superstar captained Argentina to the World Cup triumph in Qatar, while the Norwegian striker helped Man City to win their first-ever treble.

Lionel Messi, Argentina, France, Qatar, World Cup.
Lionel Messi celebrating after winning the World Cup with Argentina in Qatar. Photo by Gustavo Pagano.
Source: Getty Images

According to multiple leaks via Goal, the Argentina captain has already been informed he won the award for the eighth time in his career, leading to widespread outrage from fans.

Hazard picks Messi to win Ballon d'Or

Football stars and journalists have been declaring their stance and backing it up with reasons. Retired Chelsea legend Eden Hazard, speaking to Telefoot, is the latest to share his opinion.

“The Ballon d’Or? It would be illogical not to give it to Messi, the best player in the sport's history, a year where he wins the World Cup, he said.

Hazard's assertion about Messi was also supported by his former Chelsea teammate and France international Olivier Giroud.

“Who won the World Cup? This is often how things happen. Besides, Messi played a very important role in the victory, so I think Leo will win the Ballon d'Or,” he said.

Argentina beat France on penalties in the final at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar, a game that pitched Messi and his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe against each other, and the former Real Madrid star believes it'd have gone the other way.

“If the World Cup changes for France. Kylian Mbappe will have the Ballon d'Or. Without a doubt, 100%,” he added.

Hazard stars in first game after retirement

Sports Brief reported on Hazard dazzling in his first game since announcing his retirement from professional football after four frustrating years at Real Madrid.

He turned up in a charity match to raise money for the payment of children's hospital bills in France, and he scored and also provided five assists as his team won 11-2.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.