Messi appeared to have emerged as the clear frontrunner for the award after an incredible 2022 for both club and country.
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar was pivotal in Argentina’s triumph in the global football showpiece as he scored an incredible seven goals.
According to Sky Sports, that accomplishment saw Messi cement his place as the greatest footballer of all time.
Messi’s PSG struggles
However, the Barcelona icon has not been able to replicate his World Cup form in the second half of the 2022/23 season with PSG.
Messi has managed just four goals so far for the French giants, who were bundled out of the Champions League in the round of 16.
While they look on course to win the Coupe de la Ligue, Messi’s latest struggles could see him face stiffer competition in his bid to win the Ballon d’Or.
Can Haaland beat Messi to Ballon d’Or?
ESPN recently polled fans on the possibility of Haaland beating Messi to the Ballon d’Or award, and opinion was largely divided.
The Norwegian hotshot has scored an eyewatering 48 goals across competitions for the Premier League giants, putting them on course to win a treble.
Adebayo differentiates Haaland from Aguero
Sports Brief earlier reported on former City striker, Emmanuel Adebayor differentiating Haaland from Sergio Aguero, and his analysis appeared spot-on.
The Togolese veteran claimed Haaland is physical and combative against defenders, and he proved just that, bullying Rob Holding throughout the game.
The former Salzburg and Dortmund striker upped his game to a different level against the Gunners through link-up play and also turning provider for KDB.