Pep Guardiola wishes there could be two recipients of this year’s Ballon d’Or – Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi.
The most prestigious individual award in men’s football will be handed out in 10 days’ time with Manchester City striker Haaland and Inter Miami forward Messi – already a seven-time winner – among the favourites.
Haaland scored 52 goals in all competitions last season as Guardiola’s City claimed a domestic and continental treble while Messi played a leading role in Argentina winning the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Asked who he would vote for, Guardiola said: “I always said the Ballon d’Or should have two sections: one for Messi and one for everyone else.
“So, yes Haaland should win it. We won the treble and he scored 50 million goals.
“But the worst season for Messi is the best for the rest of the players. Both deserve it. I want Haaland to have it because he helped us achieve what we achieved. But Messi won the World Cup.
“It’s good that players here are up for the award, it makes us so proud.”