- The Ballon d’Or is still the most respected individual award in football, and it often puts a player in the Hall of Fame.
- We look a some of the favourite players to win the award.
The Ballon d’Or is still the most respected individual award in football, and it often puts a player in the Hall of Fame.
The World Cup’s appearance in the middle of the season has given a new aspect to the vote, and it appears that this season’s race is still up for grabs.
We look a some of the favourite players to win the award.
As the forward led France to a second straight World Cup final, Kylian Mbappe solidified his position as one of the game’s top talents.
In the joint-highest individual tournament in 52 years for goals scored by a single player, Mbappe’s eight goals gave him the Golden Boot. The only other player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final was Geoff Hurst for England in 1966, and Mbappe became the second due to his outstanding performance.
The 24-year-old is the top scorer in Ligue 1 at the moment and is on track to win France’s top scorer award for a fifth straight season. He has also scored the most goals in French football since the year 2000.
It will, however, work against him in the Ballon d’Or voting because his goal-scoring performances for France came in a losing effort in Qatar, along with Paris Saint-Germain’s early elimination from the Champions League this season.
Vinicius, who has contributed 44 goals and 39 assists for Real Madrid since the start of last season, has developed into one of the most potent attacking alternatives in world football over the past two seasons.
After the Real Madrid forward motivated his team against Liverpool in the round of 16 of the Champions League, Carlo Ancelotti referred to Vinicius Junior as “the best player in the world” last month.
Real Madrid has advanced to the Champions League semifinals thanks to the 22-year-old’s electrifying displays as Los Blancos seek back-to-back victories in Europe’s premier championship.
As Vinicius strives to become the first Brazilian to win the Ballon d’Or since Kaka in 2007, success in Europe is frequently a crucial indicator of Ballon d’Or winners.
Karim Benzema is a favourite to grab the individual award after winning the last one.
Although Benzema has not quite equalled the performances of his Ballon d’Or-winning season in 2022, there are indications the 35-year-old is getting close to his peak as the campaign comes to a close.
Real Madrid’s spot in the Copa del Rey final was secured by his hat-trick in the El Clásico against Barcelona earlier this month, and the Spaniards advanced to the Champions League’s last four thanks to four goals in four knockout stage games.
Benzema is aiming for a competition-record sixth victory this year, a feat that might be necessary to put him in the running for the Ballon d’Or.
Following a season of record-breaking feats at Manchester City, Erling Haaland is among the most likely players to win the prize.
Haaland has the most goals ever by a Premier League player with 49 in 43 games, making him the best scorer in all five of Europe’s major divisions and in the Champions League.
The Norwegian has already surpassed the 38-game season goal-scoring record for the Premier League, and his goals have put Pep Guardiola’s team in the running for an illustrious treble.
Haaland’s claim to the Ballon d’Or will be difficult to contest should City win all three of the remaining competitions and a first Champions League this season. After Cristiano Ronaldo (2008) and Michael Owen (2001), he might become just the third player to receive the honour while playing for a Premier League side.
Lionel Messi is the favourite to win a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or in 2023, largely because of a result of his performances in Qatar on the international stage.
Argentina won the World Cup last winter thanks in large part to Messi, who added the one obvious absence to his impressive list of achievements. With seven goals and three assists, including a hat trick in the final victory over France, the 35-year-old was awarded the competition’s outstanding player.
Despite PSG’s early exit from Europe, Messi’s club performances have also been superb, as the forward currently leads Ligue 1 for goals and assists (30), as the Parisians inch closer to the championship.