PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has ruled out Lionel Messi of the 2023 Ballon d’Or race. Messi, who’s been one of the best players last season, is in pole position to win the Ballon d’Or this year. Besides Messi, Manchester City forward Erling Haaland is also one of the leading candidates. However, according to Al-Khelaifi, Kylian Mbappe will pip both Messi and Haaland to win the award.
🇫🇷 PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi: “We have the best player in the world”.
“I think Kylian Mbappé deserves the Ballon d’Or”, says via RMC Sport. pic.twitter.com/qimIvYEqkX
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 24, 2023
Speaking to RMC Sport, Nasser Al-Khelaifi said, “We have the best player in the world. I think Kylian Mbappé deserves the Ballon d’Or.” Moreover, the PSG president seems to have put his indifferences with Mbappe at the start of the season to bed. Mbappe and Nasser Al-Khelaifi were at odds with each other after the French talisman expressed his desire to leave PSG.
🗣️ Kylian Mbappe on the 2023 Ballon D’or:
“I think I fit those criteria. I’d say yes (I deserve it), but it’s the people who vote and I’m always optimistic.”
Assuming Haaland and Messi are exempt this year for some reason? 🧐 pic.twitter.com/RvXwy6qUk7
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) June 20, 2023
In addition to this, Kylian Mbappe has also rated his chances of winning his first Ballon d’Or this year fairly high. In an interview with TF1 a couple of months ago, Mbappe said that he’s optimistic about winning the Ballon d’Or. The PSG star was one of the highest goal-scorers last year. He won the Ligue 1 and also put on a terrific performance in the 2022 World Cup final, albeit he ended up on the losing side.
Mbappe won the Golden Boot in the Ligue 1 last season as well as the World Cup. However, standing his way to the Ballon d’Or award would be his former teammate Lionel Messi. As per the reports, the Inter Miami star is the firm favorite to win soccer’s ultimate prize at an individual level this year. Who do you think will win the 2023 Ballon d’Or? Let us know in the comments below.
Lionel Messi has no interest in winning the Ballon d’Or anymore
While Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe believe that they have a strong chance of winning the 2023 Ballon d’Or, Lionel Messi isn’t much bothered about it. During a previous interview, Messi stated that he isn’t concerned anymore about winning the award. The 36-year-old star is content with his career after he won the trophy he most desired in Qatar last year, the World Cup.
Lionel Messi on potentially winning his eighth Ballon d’Or:
“[The Ballon d’Or] is a beautiful honor, but I was lucky to win everything: the Champions League, league titles, Copa America, World Cup. These are the important awards.” 🏆
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 21, 2023
Moreover, in his most recent interview with the Argentine journalist Migue Granados, Messi explained how winning a team trophy like the Copa America, the World Cup, the Champions League, and a league title matters more to him than the Ballon d’Or. However, the Argentine ace would be happy with winning a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or title later this year.