Erling Haaland breaks social media silence on Lionel Messi's Ballon d'Or win
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Erling Haaland broke his silence on social media after Lionel Messi’s Ballon d’Or win.
Messi won a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or at a ceremony in Paris, having captained Argentina to their first World Cup triumph since 1986. The pint-sized attacker claimed seven goals in seven games in Qatar while being named player of the tournament.
City forward Haaland finished in second while Kylian Mbappe was placed third for the prestigious prize, which recognises the best footballer of the year as voted by 100 journalists from around the world.
Some have argued that Haaland should have won the award, having netted 52 goals in all competitions in his debut season at City, all while claiming a historic Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.
Yet, the Norwegian responded to Messi’s victory with dignity, sharing a picture of the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain star on Instagram, which he captioned “Felicitaciones Leo Messi” (Congratulations Leo Messi).
Haaland, who scored a record-breaking 36 goals in 35 Premier League games in the 2022/23 campaign, was recognised for his achievements with the Gerd Muller Trophy, awarded to the best goalscorer.
"I want to thank Manchester City, the whole club," said Haaland.
"I also want to thank my family and all the people around me for making me who I am today."
While Messi’s eighth Ballon d’Or victory divided sections of the football world, the Inter Miami star moved to congratulate Haaland and Mbappe in his victory speech in Paris on Monday.
Messi said: “Haaland and [Kylian] Mbappe will win the Ballon d’Or one day.
“Erling deserved it very much too, he has won the Premier League, and Champions League while being the top scorer of everything. This award could have been yours today too. I’m sure in the next years you will win it”.
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