In a controversial statement, former Paris Saint-Germain winger Jerome Rothen argued that Manchester City’s Erling Haaland deserved to win the 2023 Ballon d’Or instead of Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi.
Rothen expressed his disappointment that Messi was chosen as the recipient of this year’s Ballon d’Or award, considering it to be a shameful decision.
As previously reported, Messi was announced as the winner of the prestigious award in France earlier this week, beating out strong contenders Haaland and Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain.
During an interview on RMC Sport, Rothen criticized the credibility of the Ballon d’Or after Messi’s victory over Haaland.
“This is shameful. It truly is. In my opinion, Haaland should have been the winner. From August 2022 to June 2023, what criteria are there that justify Leo Messi being superior to everyone else? He is not ranked first in almost any category. Even if you consider his record, he falls short compared to Haaland, despite winning the World Cup,” Rothen stated.
“Haaland achieved everything with Manchester City. He won every competition and scored over 60 goals in the year.
“When Messi and Ronaldo achieved such feats, it was understandable for them to be ranked first or second. Last year, Messi scored about 20 goals for his club, whereas Haaland scored 60. And I’m supposed to believe that this Golden Ball has credibility? There is no credibility left,” Rothen concluded.
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