3 reasons why Real Madrid give Erling Haaland the best chance at the Ballon d’Or

Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr., Kylian Mbappe
Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr., Kylian Mbappe (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Superstars make superstars better

Madridistas will be the first to tell you that their club is all about getting superstars to play beautiful football together. Even though the Galacticos failed because the squad depth and defensive structure were sacrificed, the forwards were wildly successful, with Luis Figo and Ronaldo winning Ballons d’Or.

And when Florentino Perez figured things out the second time around, Cristiano Ronaldo dominated the award, while Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale built legacies they never would have built for themselves anywhere else as four-time Champions League winners.

Benzema, Bale, and Ronaldo all made each other better, in the same way that Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar made each other better. To this day, Neymar and Suarez have never achieved more in terms of success and adulation than they did at Barcelona with Messi. The same can be said for Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who were Ballon d’Or candidates and revered while helping Messi dominate LaLiga.

Erling Haaland will look like a million bucks playing with Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Jr., who have been in the 99th percentile for dribbling and creative statistics at their positions. Mbappe and Vinicius can score double-digit goals with ease – especially Mbappe – but they can also work with other superstars to make them even better. Look at how Vini has helped Benz’s goal-scoring explode in 2021/22 or how Mbappe has lifted PSG while working with a variety of big names, most especially Ney and Messi.

Playing with other superstars is exactly what a top player should dream of. Madridistas will surely not forget how Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain, Benzema, and Ronaldo put up video game numbers together under Jose Mourinho. They all made each other better and more productive by supplying great passes and making all the right moves.

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Haaland could play with Vinicius Jr. and Kylian Mbappe at the same time for at least five years. He could score so many goals that he’d win a Ballon d’Or, as opposed to being overshadowed. Mbappe and even Vini could win the award, too, but Haaland would stand a great chance on his own. At another club, he could fail to reach the same heights Mbappe would at Madrid, meaning Mbappe could wipe the slate head-to-head with the greater support and profile he would get in the Spanish capital.