While acknowledging that Lionel Messi and Manchester City star Erling Haaland are both worthy recipients of the Ballon d’Or, Pep Guardiola has suggested that Messi should have his own award category.
After leading Argentina to World Cup victory last year, Lionel Messi, who recently left Paris Saint-Germain for Inter Miami, is a heavy favourite to win the Ballon d’Or for a record-extending eighth time.
Haaland, who scored 52 goals in 53 appearances last season to help City win the Champions League, the Premier League, and the FA Cup, could be his major rival.
Guardiola, who coached Messi at Barcelona and now manages Haaland for City, is in a unique position to understand both players.
“Always I said that the Ballon d’Or should be in two sections, one for Messi, and after look for the other one, so Haaland should win, yes,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday.
We won the treble thanks to his fifty million goals, but of course Messi is the reason why even the worst season for him is the best for the rest of the team.
“Both deserve it, so what can I say?”
Guardiola continued, “I would love it if Erling won egotistically since he was instrumental in what we accomplished, but I won’t tell you it’s unjust if Leo does.
It’s great that many Man City players will be competing for these trophies for the first time in a long time. That’s a huge source of pride for our company.
City’s recent league losses against Wolves and Arsenal have them looking to avenge those results this Saturday against Brighton.
Kalvin Phillips, a midfielder for City who has seen limited action under Guardiola, said this week that he must play more often for his club if he wants to keep his spot on England’s roster for Euro 2024.
Guardiola did not completely dispel rumours that he would quit in the new year.
The trade deadline has passed, and we are all here now. Kalvin is ideal when we need a game with transitions, he explained.
There are always one or two better players out there when you need something done. For that very reason.
He plans to stay through the cold season. Once the window is open, nobody knows what will happen thereafter.
After missing three games due to his suspension for a red card he received last month against Nottingham Forest, Guardiola said it was “so important” that Rodri can return this weekend.