“I think it will be between these two” – Adrien Rabiot snubs Lionel Messi and names his two favorites for the Ballon d’Or this year

Adrien Rabiot has insisted Lionel Messi doesn’t deserve to win the Ballon d’Or award and has instead named Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe as his favorites.

Lionel Messi, 36, is deemed by many as the favorite to win his record eighth Ballon d’Or on 30 October. The legendary Argentine comes off a year of cementing his legacy by finally winning the FIFA World Cup with La Abiceleste.

The Inter Miami superstar bagged seven goals and three assists in seven games in Qatar. He also starred for Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 21 goals and providing 20 assists in 45 games across competitions, winning his second Ligue 1 title.

However, Rabiot reckons Haaland, 22, and Mbappe, 24, are more deserving of winning the first Ballon d’Or for the first time in his career. The Juventus midfielder told RMC Sport (via AlbicelesteTalk):

“Ballon d’Or? I hear a lot that it’s Messi who is going to get it, but on a sporting level, it will be played between Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland. Saying one of them would be complicated, it depends on what you base it on. Not everyone ever agrees, but I think it will be between these two.”

Mbappe enjoyed an excellent past year at both club and international level for PSG and France. He bagged 41 goals and 10 assists in 43 games across competitions, winning his sixth Ligue 1 title. The French superstar won the Golden Boot at the 2022 FIFA World Cup with eight goals in seven games.

Meanwhile, Haaland was a revelation in his debut season at Manchester City, playing a key role as Pep Guardiola’s men won the continental treble. He finished top scorer in the Premier League with 36 goals in 35 league games, and in the UEFA Champions League with 12 in 11.

Erling Haaland talks up his chances of challenging Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or

The Manchester City superstar is hopeful of beating Lionel Messi to the award.
The Manchester City superstar is hopeful of beating Lionel Messi to the award.

Haaland believes he can challenge Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or and has also suggested he’s one of the best strikers in the world. The City superstar told France Football last month (via The Daily Mail):

“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.”

The Norweigan frontman was the top goalscorer across Europe’s big leagues last season with 52 goals and nine assists in 53 games across competitions. He set a new record for the most goals scored by a player in a single Premier League campaign with 36 goals.

Despite this, Haaland reckons he still has room for improvement but acknowledges he has a chance of beating Lionel Messi to the Ballon d’Or:

“I know I can still improve a great deal. I’m still young. But yes, I believe I have a chance this year.”

The former Borussia Dortmund star is already proving to be one of world football’s most dangerous forwards. He wants to be remembered as a special player:

“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 joined City from Dortmund last summer for £54 million which looks a bargain given his prolific start at the Etihad. He could become the first Premier League player since Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008 to win the Ballon d’Or.

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