Erling Haaland eviscerated the Premier League and fired Man City to their first Champions League - he fully deserves to win the 2023 Ballon d'Or over Lionel Messi

Erling Haaland Ballon d'Or graphicGetty

Move over Lionel Messi, your days of dominating the Ballon d'Or are over! A new king is ready to take your crown. His name is Erling Haaland and last season, he scored a total of 52 goals in 53 matches while winning every club trophy that mattered with Manchester City.

Powered by Haaland's insatiable hunger for goals, City chased down long-time Premier League leaders Arsenal to win a third successive title. He also led them to win the FA Cup, enjoying a satisfying win in the final over arch rivals Manchester United.

And most importantly, Haaland inspired City to win the Champions League, the trophy they had craved the most and which they had seemed incapable of achieving until the arrival of the Norwegian, who also finished top scorer in Europe's elite competition.

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With an achievement list like that, it's a wonder why there even needs to be a voting process for this year's Ballon d'Or. As GOAL explains, no one can rival Haaland for the most prestigious individual award in football. Not even Messi...