Manchester City talisman Erling Haaland has been told to boycott the Ballon d’Or ceremony for the rest of his life if he is pipped to the award by Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi.

Haaland has been nominated for the prestigious award alongside six of his City teammates after a sensational year. Not only did he win the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League, the Norwegian scored a whopping 52 goals in all competitions.

He has shown no signs of slowing down either having already bagged six goals in as many appearances this season. To many, the 23-year-old is seen as the favourite to lift the prize but there is concern among some about Messi’s chances.

The 36-year-old has been nominated for the award after a modest campaign in comparison to Haaland. Messi did win the World Cup for the first time with Argentina but scored ‘just’ 21 goals for PSG in all competitions.

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Since then, he has moved to the US and is playing for David Beckham’s Inter Miami franchise but some believe his stellar start Stateside should not push him ahead of Haaland. One of those to subscribe to this way of thinking is former Scotland and Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley who believes the Norwegian should go as far as snubbing the ceremony forever if he loses out to Messi.

He told ESPN: “If Erling Haaland doesn’t win this, close the shop. Lionel Messi won the World Cup and it’s a great achievement, but it’s a four-week period. His general league form was not the best. PSG were terrible.

“Erling Haaland? Over 50 goals, a Premier League title, the FA Cup, and the Champions League. Erling Haaland should win this award. I know that a lot of people out there can’t get off the Messi bandwagon but look at the bigger picture.

“There’s going to be a lot of muppet journos voting for Messi. The big picture here is Erling Haaland achieved everything over a long period of time.

“This award, like a few awards, drives me nuts but he’s the one that deserves it but I think out there it will be full of sentimental claptrap - Messi won the World Cup, Messi’s this and Messi’s that, and they will just hand him another one. And if I was Erling Haaland, I would never go back to another Ballon d’Or in my life, same as Robert Lewandowski.”

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