Messi has already won the prestigious prize a record seven times in his career
The Ballon d’Or is handed to the best player in world soccer that calendar year
DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Lionel Messi is favorite with the bookmakers to win yet another Ballon d’Or award later this year – despite Manchester City striker Erling Haaland’s record-breaking season in the Premier League.
Via Odds Checker, Messi is currently priced at -303 (1-3) to claim a record eighth Ballon d’Or – the prize given to the best player in world soccer over the course of the year as voted for by coaches, captains and journalists across the globe.
The Argentina captain, who has made a breathtaking start to his Inter Miami career over the past month, leads Haaland by some distance with the bookies after scoring 10 goals in his first seven matches for the American team.
Haaland is priced at +760 (38-5) to pick up his first ever Ballon d’Or in spite of the phenomenal season he had in England; where he set the record for the most goals in a single Premier League campaign with 36.
Overall the Norwegian sensation fired home 52 goals in 53 appearances for City, helping Pep Guardiola’s men win a historic Treble after clinching the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.
Messi, meanwhile, scored just 21 goals in 41 games for French club PSG before leaving in sour fashion and signing for Miami in the summer.
Since moving to the States, the 36-year-old has already tasted silverware after inspiring Inter’s victory in the Leagues Cup final last weekend.
Nevertheless, Tata Martino’s men still sit rock bottom of the MLS, in which Messi is yet to feature after playing seven straight Leagues Cup matches.
Haaland is coming off the back of an unforgettable season with Treble winners City, although there is still just under two months until the ceremony takes place in Paris on October 30.
Messi and Haaland are the two frontrunners for this year’s Ballon d’Or, with the latter’s City teammates Kevin de Bruyne (+5000/50-1) and Rodri (+6600/66-1) next on the odds list.
Barcelona’s Ilkay Gundogan, who captained City to the Treble last season before moving to Spain, is also valued at +6600,
Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Vinicius Jnr and Kylian Mbappe make up the top 10, albeit at significantly higher odds.
The initial list of 30 candidates for the 2023 Ballon d’Or will be announced on September 6.
Messi admitted prior to Saturday’s Leagues Cup final that his focus is not on adding another Ballon d’Or gong to his collection this year, instead setting his sights on collective success with Miami.
He was on hand with an incredible long-range strike to open the scoring against Nashville, who eventually equalized to take the game to penalties.
Messi tucked away his effort in the shootout before Nashville keeper Elliot Panicco missed the decisive spot-kick and handed the Argentine his first trophy in US soccer.