By: Oluwatamilore Tokunboh-Salako
Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest soccer player of all time.
He has 44 trophies to his name, including 4 Champions League titles and 12 league titles. He has scored 819 goals throughout his illustrious career and he’s been directly involved in well over 1,000. He already has a record breaking 7 Ballon D’or Awards to his name, which honors the best performing soccer player for that year. And he is already one of the favorites to win the prestigious award this year in December.
But he shouldn’t. Not when there is another player who has arguably performed at an even higher level: welcome to the conversation Erling Braut Haaland.
Haaland has spent over two-and-a-half years at Borussia Dortmund, where he has scored 62 goals in just 67 league games. This prompted interest from many teams before Manchester City eventually made the move. In 2022, Haaland moved from Borussia Dortmund in Germany to Manchester City in England for $62.6 million. Many people questioned the move, wondering if Haaland’s exploits in Germany would transfer over into the much more competitive Premier League.
Fifty-three games, 52 goals, and three trophies later, Haaland has silenced his critics in the grandest manner.
He led Manchester City to their first ever “treble” (Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League). He broke the single season goal scoring record in the Premier League previously held by Mohamed Salah (32, Haaland scored 35). Statistics don’t even tell the full story; Manchester City had never won the Champions League before until Haaland signed.
Winning the Champions League makes Manchester City the best team in the world. Their best player last season was Haaland.
The best player on the best team should win the Ballon D’or. That player is Erling Haaland.