Former Chelsea star, Craig Burley has urges Ballon d’Or nominee, Erling Haaland, to boycott ceremony in the future if Lionel Messi claims the award this year
Messi and Erling Haaland are the leading contenders for this year’s award and both names appeared in the list of nominees released on Wednesday.
Burley said Erling Haaland should boycott future Ballon d’Or events if he is snubbed in favour of Lionel Messi for the men’s trophy this year.
While Haaland scored over 50 goals to help Manchester City to a historic treble last season, Lionel Messi guided his national team to FIFA World Cup glory in 2022.
According to Burley, Haaland is more deserving of the award than Messi, urging the Norwegian to snub future invites if the Argentine wins the Ballon d’Or this year.
“If Erling Haaland doesn’t win this, close the shop,” Burley told ESPN. “Lionel Messi won the World Cup, and it’s a great achievement, but it’s a four-week period.
“His general league form was not the best. PSG were terrible. Erling Haaland? Over 50 goals, a Premier League title, the FA Cup, and the Champions League. Erling Haaland should win this award.
“I know that a lot of people out there can’t get off the Messi bandwagon, but look at the bigger picture. There’s going to be a lot of muppet journos voting for Messi. The big picture here is that Erling Haaland achieved everything over a long period of time.
“This award, like a few awards, drives me nuts, but he (Haaland)’s the one that deserves it, but, I think, out there, it will be full of sentimental claptrap – Messi won the World Cup, Messi’s this and Messi’s that, and they will just hand him another one.
“And if I was Erling Haaland, I would never go back to another Ballon d’Or in my life, same as Robert Lewandowski.”