Erling Haaland cares more about scoring goals than winning individual awards but the Ballon d’Or would be the jewel in his crown.
The Manchester City superstar has picked up right where he left off last season, scoring six goals in just four Premier League games this term, including a hat-trick against Fulham last time out.
Haaland’s latest treble doubled his tally for the new season and saw him become the fastest player in Premier League history to reach 50 goals contributions, doing so in just 39 appearances.
The 23-year-old is continuing the incredible form that inspired City to a Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble.
Haaland found the net a record-breaking 36 times in England’s top-flight last season in just 35 appearances.
As part of his unrivalled goal-scoring feats, he also banged in 12 in 11 European outings and three in four FA Cup matches to make it 52 goals in 53 games for City in 2022/23.
But despite Haaland’s spectacular season putting him in contention to win the coveted Ballon d’Or, he is unlikely to be the favourite.
Who was the last Premier League player to win the Ballon d’Or?
Haaland is bidding to become the first player from England’s top-flight to win football’s top individual prize in 15 years.
Cristiano Ronaldo remains the last player to scoop the gong for his efforts in the Premier League.
Ronaldo claimed the first of his eventual five Ballon d’Or’s during his first spell at Manchester United in 2008.
Since then, others have gone close with Virgil van Dijk missing out to Lionel Messi by only seven points in 2019.
But the Ballon d’Or has largely been dominated by Messi and Ronaldo in the past decade, with the pair winning all but two of the previous 14 titles.
The two players who managed to end their duopoly were both playing for Real Madrid at the time of their triumph; Luka Modric in 2018 and Karim Benzema last year.
In fact, only two players from the Premier League have claimed the Ballon d’Or since George Best in 1968.
Players in England to have won Ballon d’Or
Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United, 2008
Michael Owen – Liverpool, 2001
Goerge Best – Manchester United, 1968
Bobby Charlton – Manchester United, 1966
Dennis Law – Manchester United, 1964
Stanley Matthews – Blackpool, 1956
Could Haaland win the Ballon d’Or?
History shows Haaland is unlikely to be the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or, with voters tending not to favour Premier League stars.
In addition, a significant World Cup performance often plays a huge role in determining the Ballon d’Or winner.
Bobby Charlton won the award following his starring role in England’s World Cup triumph on home soil in 1966.
Franz Beckenbauer, Paolo Rossi, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo Nazario and Fabio Cannavaro were also rewarded with the Ballon d’Or for their World Cup wins.
Even just strong showings have handed the players the edge even if their country doesn’t win the tournament itself – as was the case with Gerd Muller and Modric in 1970 and 2018 respectively.
All of this doesn’t bode well for Haaland, who was forced to watch the 2022 World Cup from home as Norway failed to qualify.
In his absence, his Ballon d’Or rival Messi almost single-handedly guided Argentina to glory in Qatar where he was also awarded the Golden Ball.
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