Brazil legend Ronaldo Nazario has tipped Lionel Messi to win his eighth Ballon d’Or. The reputed award winner will be revealed on 31st October and Messi is one of the front contenders along with Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.
Messi went to fulfill his dream as he won the World Cup after Argentina defeated France on penalties. Argentina’s number 10 had a great run in FIFA World Cup 2022, scoring seven goals and providing three assists.
He also scored a goal and provided an assist in the all-important semi-final against Croatia. Messi then scored a brace against France in the final and took his team to glory.
Ergo, he was awarded the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament.
Ronaldo told TNT Sports: “The Ballon d’Or should go to him [Lionel Messi], without a doubt. What Messi did in the World Cup was special. It reminded me of the campaigns of Pelé and Maradona.”
On the other hand, Haaland scored 36 goals in 35 Premier League matches and also provided eight assists for Pep Guardiola’s team and thus was awarded Player of the Year. Thus, he played a key role in taking the team to the treble – winning the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League.
Meanwhile, Mbappe had scored 29 goals in 34 matches in the previous season of Ligue 1 and played a key role in taking PSG to glory.
Manchester United manager Pep Guardiola also shed light on Messi’s chances to win the coveted award.
He said via Eurosport, “I always said that the Ballon d’Or had to be two sections: one for Messi and one for the others. But of course, Messi, if you tell me the worst season of Messi it is the best for the rest of them. Both deserve it.
“Egotistically I would say I want Erling because he helped us to achieve what we achieved. I would love it but I won’t tell you it’s unfair if Leo wins.”