Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has ruled out Erling Haaland from the 2023 Ballon d’Or race. After a successful last season where Manchester City won the treble, Haaland has emerged as one of the strongest contenders. However, for Emi Martinez, Haaland remains no match for Lionel Messi.
During an interview, Emiliano Martinez backed Lionel Messi for winning the 2023 Ballon d’Or. He said, “We know who’s going to win the Ballon d’Or: my mate Messi. I’m just proud to be in there.” Martinez has also been included in the 30-man shortlist for the prestigious award for the first time in his career. The Aston Villa shot-stopper also recently won the best goalkeeper award at The Best FIFA Football Awards.
Emi Martínez: “We know who’s gonna win the Ballon d’Or.. my mate Messi.”
— All About Argentina 🛎🇦🇷 (@AlbicelesteTalk) September 16, 2023
Emi Martinez himself had a very successful last year. The 31-year-old goalkeeper lifted the World Cup in Qatar last year where Messi played a talismanic role. Not only did Messi win the coveted trophy but he was also adjudged to be the best player of the tournament.
Although some may argue that Erling Haaland should win the Ballon d’Or, there’s no disagreeing that Messi is also a deserving winner. However, with the race of Ballon d’Or coming down to just Haaland and Messi, soccer fans will have to wait till October 30 to know whether Haaland wins the first Ballon d’Or of his career or Messi lifts his record-extending eight Ballon d’Or.
Craig Burley has urged Erling Haaland to boycott Ballon d’Or if he doesn’t win
Meanwhile, ex-Scottish player Craig Burley has made a shocking remark in support of Erling Haaland. Burley, who played for clubs like Chelsea and Celtic, strongly believes that Haaland should win the Ballon d’Or. However, there have been rumors of Messi being the leading candidate for the award.
Speaking to ESPN, Burley has stated that Erling Haaland should boycott the Ballon d’Or award if he fails to win it this year. Burley feels that Haaland’s feats last year are enough to guarantee him the award. Burley said, “If Erling Haaland doesn’t win this, close the shop.” He further added that despite Messi’s impressive World Cup performance, the Argentine failed to perform at club level for PSG.
🎙️ Craig Burley asks Erling Haaland to 𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻 to a Ballon d’Or ceremony if he doesn’t win it this year:
“If Erling Haaland doesn’t win the Ballon d’Or, 𝙘𝙡𝙤𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙥!
Lionel Messi has won the World Cup and it’s a great achievement, but it’s a… pic.twitter.com/jZK8h0srx6
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) September 10, 2023
In addition to this, Burley stated that the voting process shouldn’t involve any sentiments for the Inter Miami star. The ex-Chelsea star further brought back the case of Robert Lewandowski, who missed out on the Ballon d’Or in both 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the following year, Lewandowski again failed to win the Ballon d’Or as Messi lifted his seventh award in his career.