- Lothar Matthaus believes that Erling Haaland was the deserving prize winner
- He said that Lionel Messi's triumph was a 'farce' but said he is a fan of the legend
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport's podcast 'It's All Kicking Off!'
Matthaus was disapproving to see that Messi had won his eighth Ballon d'Or, calling it a 'farce' that the World Cup winner took home the plaudits.
'Haaland has done better than Messi for the entire year,' he told Sky Germany.
'It's undeserved that Messi won. But that shows that a World Cup counts more than anything else.
Angel Di Maria leaped to the defence of Lionel Messi after Lothar Matthaus criticised his Ballon d'Or victory
Matthaus said that Messi's victory was a 'farce' and that Erling Haaland should have won
'Go cry somewhere else', Di Maria replied under a post about the subject on Instagram
'For me, Haaland is the best player of the last twelve months. He won major titles with Manchester City and broke goalscoring records in the process. For me, there is no way around Haaland. The choice is a farce, even though I am a Messi fan.'
His comments drew criticism from Messi's fellow Argentina star Di Maria, who commented under a post: 'Go cry somewhere else' with a laughing emoji to boot.
Matthaus is a Ballon d'Or winner himself, having scooped up the honour in 1990 after winning the World Cup with Germany.
He was also included in the Ballon d'Or Dream Team in 2020, composed of the best players ever to win the award.
His backing for Haaland is understandable after the Norwegian scored 52 goals in all competitions for Manchester City, however Messi still reached high performance levels.
The Argentine 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 and they won Ligue 1 before his transfer to Inter Miami.
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