After the European season ended, talk over who would win the 2023 Ballon d’Or began in earnest. Recent rankings by France Football have stoked the flames of controversy.

The thrilling 2022/23 season came to a close with Manchester City’s victory against Inter, meaning that players still vying for the Ballon d’Or had no more opportunities to improve their standings.

Meanwhile, after leading Argentina to a World Cup triumph in December, Lionel Messi was said to be heading toward a record-extending eighth Ballin d’Or trophy.

But since then, Erling Haaland, the hero of a team that won the treble, has emerged as a serious rival.

One may argue that the World Cup trophy is unquestionably soccer’s most significant prize. However, the Norwegian is likely to be a serious contender alongside the Inter Miami forward in October.

Griezmann also included in 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist

But other players, like Antoine Griezmann of the French national team, are also contending for the honor. The Atletico Madrid star was one of the season’s brightest sparks and a key cog in France’s path to the World Cup Final.

Additionally, he contributed 15 goals and 16 assists, the highest level of domestic goal contributions, as Los Colchoneros finished third in LaLiga.

A question was posed to him about who he thought should take home the Ballon d’Or, despite the fact that he is not among the favorites to actually win the trophy. Despite having preferences, the Atletico player came up with a clever response.

What did Antoine Griezmann say?

“Haaland or Messi for the Ballon d’Or? Me. I should win it. You forgot that I am nominated too … If not me, then Messi or Mbappe. Haaland had a great season, but it’s a World Cup year, you know?”, Griezmann said at a press conference, via RMC Sport.

Photo credit: IMAGO / ABACAPRESS