PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi picks Mbappe for 2023 Ballon d’Or, despite Messi’s World Cup win:
The Ballon d’Or is one of the most prestigious individual awards in all of sports, and the 2023 race is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent memory. The likes of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Erling Haaland are all considered to be among the favorites for the award, but it is Mbappe who has received the backing of PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
Despite Messi and Haaland’s impressive seasons, Al-Khelaifi believes that it is Mbappe who deserves the 2023 Ballon d’Or. The PSG president told RMCsport, “We have the best player in the world, and I think he deserves the Ballon d’Or.”
PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi: “We have the best player in the world”.
“I think Kylian Mbappé deserves the Ballon d’Or”, says via RMC Sport. pic.twitter.com/qimIvYEqkX
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 24, 2023
Messi’s 2022-23 Season:
Despite having a modest season at PSG in 2022-23, Messi sizzled for Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The 36-year-old led from the front with seven goals and three assists in seven games, scoring in each knockout game, as La Albiceleste ended their 36-year World Cup drought.
Haaland’s 2022-23 Season:
Haaland, meanwhile, starred with a staggering 52 goals across competitions last season as City became only the second English side to win the continental treble. He top scored in the Premier League with 36 strikes (a record in a 38-game EPL season) and 12 in the Champions League.
Mbappe’s 2022-23 Season:
Mbappe also fared well for club and country in 2022-23, bagging 41 goals across competitions for PSG. He also scored eight goals for France at the World Cup, including three in the final, as Les Bleus’ title defence ended with a shootout defeat to Argentina in the final.
Both Messi and Mbappe have had a great start to their 2023-24 campaign. While Messi joined MLS side Inter Miami on a free transfer this summer, Mbappe stayed on with the Parisians.
Messi has hit the ground running at Miami, bagging 11 goals and five assists in 12 games across competitions. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner registered 10 goals and an assist in the Herons’ victorious Leagues Cup campaign.
He also helped them reach the US Open Cup final with a pair of assists, while his goal and two assists in four MLS games have taken Tata Martino’s side off the foot of the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, Mbappe has scored eight goals in five games across competitions this season, netting in every outing. The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner has bagged braces against Lens, Lyon, and Nice – all in Ligue 1 – and another strike against Toulouse in the league.
The all-time club top scorer also scored in the 2-0 home win over Borussia Dortmund in PSG’s UEFA Champions League opener in midweek.
The 2023 Ballon d’Or race is still wide open, but Al-Khelaifi’s backing of Mbappe is a significant boost for the 23-year-old. Mbappe has all the tools to become one of the greatest players of all time, and a Ballon d’Or win in 2023 would be a fitting start to his legacy.
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