Despite Ballon d’Or Dogfight With Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland Would Fall Behind Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham for the Award, Says Ex-USMNT Star

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland and Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham are the rising stars of Europe. Bellingham has scorched the Bernabeu since his switch from Borussia Dortmund, scoring 8 goals in his first 8 La Liga games well over his accumulated xG of 4.75. Meanwhile, Haaland has slightly underperformed his xG of 8.66, similarly scoring 8 in 8 appearances for Man City in the Premier League; a commendable return nevertheless.

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The pair are widely touted to go head-to-head for the Ballon d’Or award in the coming years, especially considering both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are in the twilight years of their careers. In a conversation on ESPN FC, a pundit and ex-USMNT player reckons that Madrid’s Bellingham would pip Erling Haaland for the prestigious award.

Janusz Michallik suggests Jude Bellingham will win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Erling Haaland


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Speaking on the ESPN FC podcast, pundits Janusz Michallik and Mark Donaldson discussed who they thought would win the Ballon d’Or first between the two former Dortmund teammates. According to Michallik, Bellingham is in a better position than Haaland to pick up the award considering he’s a midfielder putting up these numbers and because of international soccer.

Speaking on the show, Michallik said, “I mean what Jude Bellingham is doing is incredible he’s at a big club. Real Madrid is Real Madrid if you were to continue doing what he’s doing right now consistently then you’d like to think that his all-around game may just be a little bit better.”

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“I think you know international football makes a big difference and that’s I suppose unlucky for Erling Haaland and Norway, you look at Jude Bellingham he’s an important part of the English team,” he added.

Further stating, “You have to say about Haaland, I don’t think he’s a great all-around player but he’s been consistent scoring at Borussia Dortmund and now at Manchester City. But Jude Bellingham seems to me if I had to absolutely guess maybe a little bit closer…. Right now I would say Jude Bellingham honestly.”

Bellingham is 20 and Haaland is 23, so given a bit of an age gap, perhaps, Haaland is a stronger contender to win the prestigious award. But the stats this season reveal that both are neck and neck.

Haaland and Bellingham have the same goal tally so far this season


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Comparing both players purely based on this season, Bellingham has matched Haaland’s goal tally of 8 goals in 8 matches in their respective leagues. But of course, the fact remains that Bellingham is a box-to-box midfielder while Haaland is a striker.

via Imago

Furthermore, Haaland accumulated an xG of 0.04 in City’s loss to 2-1 Wolves while registering a shocking xG of 0.00 in the Citizens’ recent 1-0 loss against Arsenal. Bellingham, on the other hand, has an xG of 1.32 and 0.52 in his last two La Liga games, netting 1 against Girona and scoring a brace against Osasuna, the latter of which saw him overperform his xG by 1.48.


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The debate might have divisive standpoints, but at the moment, Bellingham is narrowly leading his old teammate as the Englishman remains the favorite to pick up the Golden Boy Award that will take place later this year.

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