Ballon d'Or Winner 2023: Lionel Messi Or Erling Haaland? Ronaldo Picks One As Winner Of Prestigious Award
Along with raising the World Cup trophy, Messi helped Paris Saint-Germain win both the Ligue 1 championship and the French Super Cup.
As the wait for the 2023 Ballon d'Or continues to fume between the fans, Ronaldo has picked his side on the debate of Lionel Messi or Erling Haaland winning the prestigious award. Interestingly, the legendary footballer expressed that Messi's FIFA World Cup campaign reminded him of legendary campaigns of Maradona and Pele. Among fans, Messi stands as the favorite
"The Ballon d'Or should go to him [Lionel Messi], without a doubt. What Messi did in the World Cup was special. It reminded me of the campaigns of Pelé and Maradona," said Ronaldo Nazario on his pick for the Ballon d'Or this year. (UEFA Champions League 2023: Jude Bellingham Scores Again To Lead Real Madrid To 2-1 Win Over Braga)
When viewed in a larger context, Lionel Messi presents a strong argument for the prize. Along with raising the World Cup trophy, he helped Paris Saint-Germain win both the Ligue 1 championship and the French Super Cup. In 41 appearances across all competitions, he concluded the previous season with 21 goals and 20 assists for the French powerhouses.
Coming to Messi's long time rival Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese goal-scoring machine is not planning to retire from international football any time soon as he targets to feature in Euro 2024. Ronaldo was once again on the scoresheet following a brace in Portugal's 3-2 victory over Slovakia in the UEFA Euro Qualifiers on Friday.
As Ronaldo continues to walk in the twilight of his career he still continues to perform for the national team and clinch the crucial goals. The 3-2 victory ensured Portugal's spot in the Euro 2024 finals which is slated to begin from June 14.
"I hope I will be at Euro 2024 as there is still a lot of time left. I hope I won't have any problem or injury, I hope to play," Ronaldo told reporters as quoted from Goal.com.
"I left Portugal early but it will always be my home. They support me in every stadium in Portugal. The Portuguese must be congratulated too for the reception they gave us and this qualification is also theirs," Ronaldo added.
Portugal will now travel to Bosnia for their Euro 2024 Qualifier clash which won't hold much significance for them, Ronaldo was quizzed if he remains open to travelling he said,
"Of course, I will go to Bosnia but I don't know what the coach will decide. I'm always available to help the national team and I love doing that and whatever the coach wants to do. All 24 players are ready to help."
Coming to the match, Portugal enjoyed a two-goal advantage after the end of the first half, but the deficit was cut into half after Slovakia struck in the 69th minute of the game.
Ronaldo restored the two-goal lead advantage in the 72nd minute of the game following a sublime pass from Bruno Fernandes. Slovakia struck the net a second time through Stanislav Lobokta in the 80th minute of the game. But Portugal held onto their nerves and sealed off the game with a 3-2 victory.