The anticipation is palpable as the curtain rises on football’s most coveted individual accolade, the Ballon d’Or. Regardless of your feelings toward it, this is the award that every footballer aspires to claim one day. In the wake of an unforgettable 2022-23 season, the roster of candidates for the 2023 Golden Ball has been unveiled.
This year’s shortlist for Ballon d’Or Nominees 2023 features a multitude of distinguished names all vying for the prestigious honor, the same honor that Karim Benzema grasped last year. The selection process took into consideration not just their club performances but also their contributions at the 2022 World Cup.
Who will emerge as the victor? Can Lionel Messi secure his eighth Ballon d’Or after leading Argentina to triumph in Qatar? Or will Erling Haaland’s remarkable achievements with treble-winners Manchester City earn him the title? And might Kylian Mbappe or Vinicius Jr. stage an upset?
The suspense will linger until the fateful evening of October 30th when the ceremony unfolds in Paris. Until then, here are the players who have earned a place on the shortlist for football’s most prestigious individual accolade.
Ballon d’Or Nominees 2023 Power Rankings: Top 10 Contenders
- Lionel Messi, with 37 goals and 24 assists, stands as a clear Ballon d’Or contender, having triumphed in the World Cup and the Trophée des Champions. However, a suspension by PSG in 2023 and a recent dip in form raise doubts about his chances. Lionel Messi however has showed so much improvements at Inter Miami after which since they’ve not lost a match since he arrived at the club.
- Erling Haaland’s 52 goals and 8 assists have propelled him into the spotlight. His extraordinary goal tally of at least 60 for the season, coupled with Manchester City’s title victory and a treble record, places him in a league of his own.
- Kylian Mbappe, in this Ballon d’Or 2023 Power Rankings episode, boasts 48 goals and 13 assists in 2022-2023. PSG’s recent focus has been on Mbappe’s striking abilities, seen as instrumental in their Ligue 1 aspirations.
- Vinicius Junior, having transferred from Real Madrid, clinched the Copa del Rey, Club World Cup, and UEFA Super Cup with 23 goals and 25 assists. His consistent brilliance, especially with creating goal-scoring opportunities, has been noteworthy.
- Karim Benzema, ranking fifth in the 2022–2023 season with 29 goals and six assists, has secured silverware in the Copa del Rey, Club World Cup, and UEFA Super Cup. Despite fitness concerns, his hat-trick ability marks him as a special player.
- Victor Ousmane, positioned at number six in the Ballon d’Or 2023 Power Rankings, contributed 28 goals and 5 assists. His recent title win has elevated his status, leaving Napoli eager to secure his services this summer.
- Khvicha Kvartskhelia, the seventh-ranked player, recorded 16 goals and 17 assists during the 2022–2023 season, while winning Serie A. His exceptional performances have made him a standout signing in European football.
- Kevin de Bruyne, ranked eighth, tallied nine goals and 29 assists for Manchester City in 2022-2023. His impressive late-season form has brought City closer to securing major titles.
- Marcus Rashford, in ninth place, registered 32 goals and 11 assists in 2022 and 2023, with a Carabao Cup victory. Although his form has dipped slightly, he remains a key figure for Manchester United.
- Robert Lewandowski, the tenth-ranked player, contributed 31 goals and 9 assists and won the Supercopa de España in 2022-2023. His recent performances may not have made waves, but his goals are vital for Barcelona’s La Liga title bid.