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Erling Haaland showing why he is the favourite to replace Lionel Messi as Ballon d’Or winner

Erling Haaland may have to wait for his first Ballon d’Or, but it won’t be very long.

The Manchester City superstar looks set for a runners-up finish when football’s biggest individual award is handed out on Monday night.

Haaland is dominating the Premier League

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Haaland is dominating the Premier LeagueCredit: Getty

Reliable leaks claim Lionel Messi will claim his eighth golden ball in Paris after his World Cup-winning heroics with Argentina in December.

However, that will almost certainly be it for the Barcelona legend, who has stepped away from elite-level football with a move to MLS with Inter Miami.

His long-time foe Cristiano Ronaldo has similarly stepped out of the limelight with a move to Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, clearing the path for football’s next generation.

Karim Benzema, a winner in 2022, is also in the Middle East, meaning that 2024 will likely see Haaland compete, with perhaps Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, or even Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham.

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But judging by the stats, neither the English or French superstar will stand much of a chance.

A European treble winner last season in his first campaign with City, Haaland has hardly let off the gas this term.

In the Manchester derby on Sunday, he was unplayable with two goals and an assist in a 3-1 win over United, leaving him on 13 goal contributions this term, one ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

The match was the striker’s 45th in the Premier League, during which time he’s registered a mammoth 47 goals and ten assists.

Haaland is already ahead of Premier League legends

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Haaland is already ahead of Premier League legends
Messi could soon be landing an eighth Ballon d'Or after winning the World Cup with Argentina

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Messi could soon be landing an eighth Ballon d’Or after winning the World Cup with ArgentinaCredit: Getty

Alongside his record-breaking scoring season last term, that number of goal contributions puts him top of a stunning English list.

Of players to have played 40 or more Premier League games, Haaland now has the best rate of goals or assists, bagging one every 64 minutes.

That sees him above second-placed Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, third-placed former City man Sergio Aguero, and fourth-placed Mohamed Salah.

Should Haaland keep those numbers up, and there’s no sign that he won’t, Messi could well be handing over his trophy this time next year for a new era of dominance.

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