“It’s a disgrace!” – Jerome Rothen Questions Ballon d’Or Credibility, Says Lionel Messi Was Not Even The Best At PSG

Lionel Messi Is The Second Oldest Player To Win The Ballon d'Or
Lionel Messi Is The Second Oldest Player To Win The Ballon d'Or

Former Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) midfielder Jerome Rothen has branded Lionel Messi’s Ballon d’Or win a “disgrace”, saying Manchester City’s Erling Haaland enjoyed a much better campaign than the Argentine.

On Monday (October 30), Messi won his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or in Paris, France. Haaland, who won the Treble with City last season, finished second in the Golden Ball race, while PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe clinched the third spot. Both Haaland (52 goals) and Mbappe (41 goals) scored considerably more goals than Messi (21 goals) in club soccer in the 2022-23 season.

Rothen Slams Ballon d’Or Credibility For Giving Trophy To Lionel Messi

On RMC Sport’s Rothen s’enflamme program, the former French midfielder claimed it was absurd that Messi won the Ballon d’Or despite Haaland’s heroics for Manchester City.

He said (via GOAL):

It’s a disgrace! Of course, it’s a disgrace. As far as I’m concerned, it should have gone to Haaland. From August 2022 to June 2023, what criteria lead us to say that Leo Messi is above the others? There’s hardly any criterion where he’s number 1. If we look at his record, he’s inferior to Haaland, even though he won the World Cup. Haaland won everything with Manchester City. And of course you can’t compare him with the World Cup, because Haaland is Norwegian.

At PSG, Messi wasn’t above the rest, he wasn’t the best player at the club. It’s problematic that a guy who’s won the Ballon d’Or, who’s supposed to be the best player in the world, isn’t even the best player at his club. My journalist friends [the voters], for the last three or four years, Messi hasn’t been the best player in the world. You have to stop being delirious! And over the last four years, he’s won two Ballon d’Or awards. So for me, it’s shameful. I’m hallucinating.

Messi’s Ballon d’Or Win Is Not Unexpected

Since the award’s inception in 1956, the Ballon d’Or has always paid extra attention to the FIFA World Cup. Players who pitch in with important performances en route to lifting the coveted trophy have generally gotten a leg up in the Ballon d’Or race. So, while Haaland did all he could to win the individual accolade, Messi simply had the FIFA World Cup factor working in his favor.

The Inter Miami superstar was sensational for Argentina at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring seven goals and providing three assists in seven games. His brace in the final against France allowed La Albiceleste to push the match to extra time while his spot kick helped Argentina beat Les Bleus in the shootout. For his heroics, Messi was awarded the Golden Ball in Qatar.

Arrow to top