Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola, believes striker, Erling Haaland, should win the 2023 Ballon d’Or. Haaland scored 52 goals in 53 appearances to help City win an historic Treble in 2022-23.

The Norway international is among 30 candidates to win the Ballon d’Or on October 30. Guardiola said: “Haaland should win – Yes. We won the treble and he scored 50 million goals.”

Inter Miami forward Lionel Messi is viewed as a major rival to Haaland in the running for the top individual accolade in world football. Messi is a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and played a key role in Argentina’s success at the 2022 World Cup while still a Paris St-Germain player.

Guardiola, who managed Messi at Barcelona, believes the 36-year-old deserves his own category.

“The Ballon d’Or has to be two sections. One for Messi, and after look for the others,” Guardiola said.

“The worst season of Messi is the best for the rest.” Haaland has already scored eight goals in 12 appearances this campaign, but has not found the net since 23 September when City beat Nottingham Forest 2-0.

He will have the opportunity to add to his tally when Brighton visit the Etihad today at 15:00 BST. City have lost their last two Premier League fixtures, coming away with zero points from trips to Wolves and Arsenal, and sit two points behind leaders Tottenham in third.

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