Man City’s Akanji and Wright-Phillips Believe Messi’s Ballon d’Or Win Over Haaland Was “Harsh” & “Not Fair” Haaland Should Have Won it, individually Haaland did more than messi:
Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji recently stated that his teammate Erling Haaland should have won the 2022 Ballon d’Or award over seven-time winner Lionel Messi.
As quoted by ESPN, Akanji said “He [Haaland] did everything he could last year. He’s scored 50 goals and won the treble. Of course, it would have been nice for him to win but it’s not just about that. I think he cares more about the team’s success than the individual ones but I hope for him that he will win it one day.”
The 2022 Ballon d’Or results led to fierce debate in the football world. Messi claimed a record extending eighth Ballon d’Or after leading Argentina to victory in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. However, many pundits and fans argued that Haaland was more deserving after his sensational debut season with Manchester City.
Last season was exceptional for Haaland, he scored a stunning 50 goals across all competitions for City. This included 29 Premier League goals in 30 appearances, breaking the record for most goals in a 38-game Premier League season previously held by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (32 goals). He also scored 15 Champions League goals in just 12 matches, falling one shy of Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 17 goals in a single Champions League season.
Despite scoring 50 goals which is an outstanding season for a player, the Norwegian striker finished runner-up to Messi for the Ballon d’Or, awarded to the best male player in the world based on votes from journalists.
Leo Messi won the Ballon d’Or over Erling Haaland by 105 points.
Leo Messi – 462 points
Erling Haaland – 357 points
…here full list of votes country by country! ️
South Africa: Messi
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 4, 2023
According to FIFA’s website, former England winger Shaun Wright-Phillips called the decision “harsh” on Haaland. He stated, “The amount of goals he scored for Manchester City last season was just incredible. For him not to win the award based on Messi winning the World Cup with Argentina seems a bit harsh because Haaland plays for a nation in Norway that wasn’t even in the competition so it’s not really fair.”
Wright-Phillips suggested that the Ballon d’Or should reward individual accomplishments rather than team achievements. As Haaland represents Norway, which failed to qualify for the World Cup, he did not have the opportunity to compete for World Cup glory like Messi.
Some argue that Messi deserved the prize for inspiring Argentina to victory on the biggest stage. As quoted in Marca, Messi said winning the World Cup was “the most beautiful thing that happened in my career.” At 35 years old, it was likely Messi’s last chance to lift the coveted trophy.
However, supporters of Haaland point to Messi’s relatively disappointing season with club team Paris Saint-Germain. As reported by Goal, the Argentine scored just 11 goals in 34 appearances across all competitions for PSG.
Meanwhile, Haaland took the Premier League by storm, breaking numerous scoring records and named Player of the Season by both the league and Football Writers’ Association.
As per official report, Haaland became the youngest player to reach 25 Champions League goals (21 years, 255 days), and the fastest to reach 10 (7 games), 15 (12 games), and 20 goals (14 games). This phenomenal European form seemed worthy of Ballon d’Or recognition.
He is only 22 years old, and has many many years left he could win every top awards. Now with Messi playing in the MLS for Inter Miami, Haaland has an opportunity to dominate in Europe without the Argentinian’s competition.
Young stars like Kylian Mbappé and Vinicius Junior will also be in the mix. But if Haaland can maintain his astronomical scoring rate, he may soon claim the Ballon d’Or that barely eluded him in 2022.
Man City manager Pep Guardiola weighed in on Haaland missing out, as quoted by Football365: “I want to say congratulations to Messi… Next year maybe Erling has more chances but great compliments to Messi for winning this award.”
With the World Cup now behind him, football fans will be eager to see if Messi can rediscover his best form with Inter Miami. But Haaland’s relentless goal-scoring pace shows no signs of slowing down. He already scored 11 goals in premiere league this season(2023-24).
(Haaland Accepted Drogba’s Celebration Challenge During Ballon d’Or Ceremony)
…it’s 39 goals in 34 UCL games!
At Ballon d’Or Gala, Drogba challenged Haaland to celebrate his next goal with his celebration…
…and here we go, tonight
“Man of your words!”, says Didier. pic.twitter.com/BAOKnqdycE
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 7, 2023
Erling Haaland ACCEPTS Didier Drogba’s Ballon d’Or celebration challenge ✅ pic.twitter.com/RqSkwy39sv
— Mail Sport (@MailSport) November 7, 2023
As reported by The Guardian, Haaland had a great season start, scoring 31 goals in just 26 appearances across all competitions for City last season. This includes 22 Premier League goals in 16 matches, breaking previous year records.
Meanwhile, Messi had struggled to regain top form since returning from World Cup triumph with Argentina. In 18 matches for PSG this season, he has scored just 8 goals per statistics on FBRef.com.
Spanish journalist Guillem Balague offered his take on the debate while speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live. “There’s no doubt that Messi deserved the Ballon d’Or following the World Cup, it was a beautiful end to his international career. But judging purely on club form, you’d have to say Haaland was more deserving.”
With the Ballon d’Or award taking both club and international play into account, 2022 provided a unique split between Messi’s World Cup success and Haaland’s club dominance. But if Haaland continues putting up video game numbers while Messi declines further, the Norwegian may soon claim the coveted Golden Ball.