- Lionel Messi is 'inferior' to Erling Haaland, said ex-PSG player Jerome Rothen
- Rothen said Messi wasn't even the best player at PSG during his time there
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport's podcast 'It's All Kicking Off!'
Messi collected his eighth Ballon d'Or on Monday night after winning the World Cup with Argentina and Ligue 1 with PSG.
He beat off stiff competition from 52-goal man Haaland, who won the Treble with Manchester City and scored the most goals in a Premier League season ever.
'It's disgraceful! Of course it's disgraceful,' the pundit raged on Rothen s'enflamme ('Rothen catches fire').
Jerome Rothen ripped into Lionel Messi on his RMC Sport show, saying it was 'disgraceful' that he had won the Ballon d'Or
Messi picked up his eighth Ballon d'Or after winning the World Cup in 2022 with Argentina
Erling Haaland fired Manchester City to the Treble with 52 goals and Rothen sees him as the deserving winner
'As far as I'm concerned, it should have gone to Haaland. From August 2022 to June 2023, what criteria lead us to say that Leo Messi is above the others? There's hardly any criterion where he's number one.
'If we look at his record, he's inferior to Haaland, even though he won the World Cup. Haaland won everything with Manchester City. And of course you can't compare him with the World Cup, because Haaland is Norwegian.
'At PSG, Messi wasn't above the rest, he wasn't the best player at the club. It's problematic that a guy who's won the Ballon d'Or, who's supposed to be the best player in the world, isn't even the best player at his club.
'You have to stop being delirious! And over the last four years, he's won two Ballon d'Or awards. So for me, it's disgraceful. I'm hallucinating.'
Messi masterminded Argentina's World Cup final victory in Qatar, scoring two against France in a historic match and netting in the penalty shootout.
He also scored 21 goals and recorded 20 assists for PSG in all competitions.
Rothen's sentiment is reflected in many football fans who feel that Haaland's record-breaking season is worthy of the top honour.
He powered drove City to a maiden Champions League title and represented a tactical shift for Pep Guardiola as the Spaniard depended once more on a number nine.
Rothen claimed that Messi was even the best player at PSG during his time at the French club
Lionel Messi received a guard of honor from his Inter Miami teammates on Tuesday morning
Rothen was incensed with the outcome.
He added: 'I'm told that this Ballon d'Or must be given credibility? But there's no credibility left!'
Messi celebrated with the success with his Inter Miami team-mates after returning to their Fort Lauderdale training base.
He posed with the team and embarked in a playful guard of honor while other players popped confetti and held cut out signs of the number eight.
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