‘I think he will be crowned’: Lionel Messi or Erling Haaland? Ronaldo picks 2023 Ballon d’Or winner

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Ronaldo predicted the 2023 Ballon d’Or winner. Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland are considered to be the top contenders.

With the Ballon d’Or considered to be among the most prestigious awards in world football, the 67th annual ceremony is scheduled for October 30 and nominees will be announced on September 6. Former Real Madrid Karim Benzema is the reigning Ballon d’Or winner and it is highly unlikely that he will retain his crown.

Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland are the leading contenders for the 2022-23 season. While record-time winner Messi is still a contender, his long-time Ballon d’Or rival Cristiano Ronaldo is already out of the picture. The Portugal captain joined Al Nassr after the 2022 FIFA World Cup and failed to win any trophies in his debut season. Before his arrival, Al Nassr were on top of the Saudi Pro League table but ended the season in second position.

Two-time Golden Ball winner and former player Ronaldo Nazario recently decided to give his take on the upcoming Ballon d’Or ceremony and predicted the winner for the men’s individual section. Speaking to Albiceleste Talk, the Brazil legend said, “Messi deserves to win the Ballon d’Or. I think he will be crowned. He won the World Cup, which is a very big tournament.”

Messi departed PSG after they completed their Ligue 1 season, and joined MLS side Inter Miami in a free transfer. The Argentine captain was victorious in Qatar last year, leading his country to World Cup glory. He was also named best player of the tournament, as Argentina defeated France in the final. He finished the tournament with seven goals and three assists in seven appearances, and was one of the only three Argentines to play in every single minute of their campaign. He also almost won the Golden Boot, but was denied as Kylian Mbappe’s hat trick in the final saw the Frenchman finish with eight goals.

Meanwhile, Haaland, on the other hand, missed the World Cup as Norway failed to qualify, but won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League with Manchester City. City defeated Inter Milan in the UCL final to complete a historic treble. Haaland won the Premier League Golden Boot award with 36 goals in 35 matches and was also UCL top-scorer with 12 in 11 games.

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