Borussia Dortmund striker, Erling Haaland named his fellow superstar Robert Lewandowski as the best footballer on the planet right now, with Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi completing his top three.
Lewandowski controversially missed out on last year’s Ballon d’Or award despite firing home a sensational 69 goals in 59 games for Bayern Munich throughout 2021. But it was Barcelona legend and PSG superstar Lionel Messi, who scored 34 goals at club level, that scooped the prize for the seventh time.
Now, Haaland, the 21-year-old sensation with 79 goals in 80 appearances for Dortmund, has appeared to suggest Lewandowski should have taken the gong.
In an interview with ESPN, the Norwegian striker was asked to name his top three players in world football, and his Bayern counterpart pipped Messi and Real Madrid centre-forward Karim Benzema to top spot.
Haaland said: ‘That’s a good question. I think it was the last year, right?
‘I think you have to say Lewandowski number one, and then for me, Benzema has also been amazing, but Messi is also outstanding.
So Benzema and Messi in shared second and third place.’
Lewandowski was also the outstanding candidate to win the Ballon d’Or back in 2020, only for the Covid-19 pandemic to force event organisers to cancel the ceremony that year.
After collecting the 2021 award, Messi said: ‘I would like to mention Robert Lewandowski, it’s been a real honour to compete with you.’Everyone knows and we agree that you were the winner last year.
‘I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or – you deserve it and you should have it at home.