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“Am I the best?” – Erling Haaland reveals Ballon d’Or ambition amid Lionel Messi competition



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Manchester City striker Erling Haaland believes that he can win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Lionel Messi next month.

The 23-year-old is bidding to prevent Messi from winning the Ballon d’Or for a record-breaking eighth time, after Erling Haaland was named amongst a 30-man shortlist for the prestigious award.

Haaland was one of seven current Manchester City players to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or last week, with treble-winning club captain Ilkay Gundogan also shortlisted, having moved to Barcelona on a free transfer during the summer window.

Josko Gvardiol, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, Erling Haaland, Ilkay Gundogan, Julian Alvarez and Rodri, were all included in the 30-man shortlist for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award.

Manchester City completed a famous treble last season, winning the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League.

Haaland scored 52 goals in 53 appearances during his maiden campaign at the Etihad Stadium, smashing the Premier League goalscoring record and scoring six hat-tricks across all competitions.

The Norwegian has six goals in six games this season, having netted a fifth Premier League hat-trick during a 5-1 win over Fulham at the Etihad Stadium last month.

The 23-year-olds formidable form makes the striker a hot favourite to win the Ballon d’Or, as Haaland seeks to succeed former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who won the award in 2022.

Speaking to France Football, Haaland believes that he could win the trophy this year, despite Messi’s World Cup winning campaign with Argentina.

“I know I can still improve a great deal; I’m still young. But yes, I believe I have a chance this year,” revealed the Manchester City forward.

“In my mind, It all depends on what we mean by striker. It’s a trick question. I’m definitely up there. Am I the best? Maybe.”

“I’d like people to remember me as a special player, in the way I play. This is what I’m trying to do every week, show special stuff.”

Haaland was recently named the PFA Player of the Year, and previously won the FWA Footballer of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season awards, following an incredible debut campaign at Manchester City.

The striker moved to the Etihad Stadium from Borussia Dortmund for £51 million in June 2022.