LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Jerome Rothen has raised doubts about Lionel Messi’s eighth Ballon d’Or win, asserting that Messi wasn’t even the best player during his Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) stint.
Rothen, who now plays for Inter Miami in MLS after leaving PSG, expressed his disbelief at Messi’s latest Ballon d’Or triumph.
Despite Messi’s impressive record of 41 goal contributions in 41 club appearances and winning the World Cup with Argentina, Rothen believes Manchester City’s Erling Haaland deserved the accolade.
In an impassioned statement on RMC Sport’s “Rothen s’enflamme,” Rothen stated, “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.”
Rothen argued that Messi was not the best player at PSG, making it problematic that the player who won the Ballon d’Or isn’t even the best player at his club.
He questioned the judgment of the journalists who voted for Messi as the best player globally over the last four years and asserted that the award has lost credibility.
While Messi’s achievements with PSG were impressive, Haaland’s prolific performance in his first season with Manchester City, including winning a treble and scoring 52 goals, made him a strong candidate for the Ballon d’Or.
Rothen felt that if the roles had been reversed, Haaland would have won, and the award’s credibility has been tarnished.
As Haaland strives to focus on his upcoming match for Manchester City against Bournemouth, Rothen’s criticism of Messi’s Ballon d’Or win has sparked debate about the award’s decision-making process and criteria.