- The Norwegian forward is on the shortlist of 23 finalists for the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11
- His 2022/23 season with Manchester City was historic in terms of numbers and influence
- The votes of professional footballers worldwide will decide whether Haaland makes the final cut
It will come as no surprise to anyone that Erling Haaland is among the 23 finalists for the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11: he is the deadliest striker in football today.
This is not a subjective description; it is a fact. The Norwegian ace netted the most goals in a single Premier League season (36) and was one of the stars of Manchester City’s treble-winning team last campaign. It is little wonder why his fellow professionals have selected Haaland as one of the finalists for the 2023 Men’s World 11.
This time, the Men’s World 11 honours the best players in each position in the period 19 December 2022 to 20 August 2023 inclusive. In other words, the decisive phase of last season in European football.
All the same, Haaland has very strong rivals for a place as one of the three players to be chosen in the forwards category: Karim Benzema, Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Vinicius Jr.
Haaland in 2023
The first eight months of the year were a dream for Haaland, who confirmed in a City shirt the quality he showed up to mid-2022 at Borussia Dortmund and in the second part of that year in England.
The Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup titles bear the stamp of his numerous goals. In England he broke the all-time record for a single league season with 36, two ahead of the mark set by Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers 1994/95) and Andy Cole (Newcastle 1993/94).
He was the top scorer in the Champions League with 12, seven of them since February, from the last 16 onwards. Not since Ruud van Nistelrooy in the 2002/03 season had a Premier League player reached that figure in the competition.
In the FA Cup he hit three in only four matches played. In the UEFA Super Cup against Seville, he did not score during normal time but helped his team to the title with his penalty in the deciding shoot-out.
- European Golden Shoe 2022/23
- Gerd Muller Trophy 2023
- Premier League Player of the Season 2022/23
- Premier League Young Player of the Season 2022/23
- Premier League Golden Boot 2022/23
- PFA Players’ Player of the Year 2022/23
- PFA Team of the Year 2022/23
- Champions League Team of the Season 2022/23
- Manchester City Player of the Season 2022/23
Haaland in the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11
At the age of 23, Haaland is in the running for his third consecutive appearance in the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11. In 2021 he shared the forward line with Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and in 2022 with Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema.
But before that, he had already come close to being one of the eleven with the most votes: in 2020 he hit 16 goals in 18 games in his first season at Borussia Dortmund and was included on the 55-player shortlist, though he did not make it into the final team.
“I expected to be good of course but I didn’t expect to be that good. It’s been a fantastic season so far.”— by Erling Haaland
The football world talks about Haaland
"We are really pleased he is a guy with hunger. He is so humble. He is an incredible professional. He is a great competitor."
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager
"He knows how to find space in the penalty area. Not everyone can do that. Very few players understand that. His movement is so good. His anticipation. He does it better than anyone in the game at the moment."
Gary Lineker, ex-England international and top goalscorer in the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico
"Haaland is maybe the best player in the world now."
Martin Odegaard, Arsenal and Norway midfielder
When will the 2023 FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 be known?
The FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World 11 for 2023 will be officially announced at The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023, for which the gala will be held in London on 15 January 2024.
It will be made up of the 11 players — out of the 23 included on the final list — who receive the most votes in their position.