The Ballon d’Or 2023 is one of the most prestigious individual awards in world football. Awarded to the player deemed to have had the best season as voted on by his peers, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominated in the late 2000s and early 2010s. This prestigious award has previously been won by Johan Cruyff, Zinedine Zidane, and Ronaldinho. Lionel messi won the record Number of 7 times while Cristiano Ronaldo won 5 times.
There is no set date for the Ballon d’Or 2023 ceremony and there are 10 Contenders to challenge Messi to be one of the top contenders to win football’s biggest individual award.
Here is the list of top 10 Contender for Ballon d’Or 2023
10. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
Last time: 9th
In 2022-23: 10 goals, 11 assists.
‘Kvaradona,’ the European season’s breakout star, has helped Napoli to a commanding lead at the top of Serie A, as well as a Champions League group win that positions them nicely for a deep run through the knockout rounds.
No stat captures the winger’s impact better than the fact that, despite missing Napoli’s final three matches before the break due to injury, he currently leads Serie A in combined goals and assists.
Georgia’s failure to qualify for the World Cup was obviously a serious setback to his Ballon d’Or hopes, but at least he now has a few more weeks off to get back in top physical shape for the second half of the season.
9 Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Last time: 8th
In 2022-23: 16 goals, five assists. Won Community Shield.
Salah looked back to his best in the final few weeks before the World Cup, with his goals just about keeping Liverpool afloat after a poor run of form.
Salah’s match-winning goals against Manchester City and Tottenham were classic Salah, and despite missing the World Cup, he could still have a say in the Ballon d’Or race.
Liverpool can’t possibly be that bad in 2023, can it? And if they do start firing again, Salah will be at the helm.
8 Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
Last time: 6th
In 2022-23: 11 goals, nine assists. Won UEFA Super Cup.
Vinicius showed flashes of his exceptional talent in his first World Cup, but he was one of many who couldn’t produce consistently enough for Brazil to advance past the quarterfinals.
With that first global tournament behind him, he can now concentrate on establishing himself as Real Madrid’s main man in the second half of the season.
7 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Last time: 7th
In 2022-23: Four goals, 14 assists.
De Bruyne, perhaps the World Cup’s most underwhelming performer, was powerless to prevent Belgium’s ageing squad from crashing out in the group stages.
He’ll be glad to return to Manchester City and start swinging in crosses for Erling Haaland to attack again.
6 Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
Last time: 4th
In 2022-23: 18 goals, 15 assists. Won Trophee des Champions.
Neymar’s World Cup dream is over, with the Brazilian superstar indicating that he will not return to the national team after their quarter-final loss to Croatia in 2026.
His struggles with form and fitness at the World Cup, however, should not detract from his outstanding first half of the season at PSG, and if he maintains that level of form, he could force his way into the Ballon d’Or race.
5 Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)
Last time: First Time ENTRY
In 2022-23: 13 goals, three assists. Won World Cup.
Alvarez after couple of games proved crucial to Argentina’s World Cup victory, as the striker led the line brilliantly, providing both goals and clever link-up play alongside Lionel Messi.
Alvarez now has a real chance to be one of the most decorated players in world football this season, and while France Football has instructed judges to prioritise performance over trophies, there’s no doubt that the ex-River Plate man deserves to be a Ballon d’Or nominee.
4 Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
Last time: 5th
In 2022-23: 20 goals, six assists.
Lewandowski cut a frustrated figure for much of Poland’s campaign at what was possibly his final World Cup, despite scoring his first goals at the tournament.
His return to Barcelona action will be hampered by a suspension for his red card in their final game before the break, but he should be fit for the second half of the season.
3 Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Last time: 3rd
In 2022-23: 24 goals, three assists.
With any doubts about his ability to succeed at Manchester City dispelled in a matter of weeks, Haaland has been given the opportunity to put his feet up and rest for a month before attempting to maintain his record-breaking goalscoring pace at the end of December.
Because of his talent, Haaland can win the Ballon d’Or without having played in the World Cup, and the tournament has so far played out almost perfectly for him.
2 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Last time: 1st
In 2022-23: 28 goals, seven assists.
Mbappe will not be a two-time World Cup winner when he turns 24 on Tuesday, but he will be confident that he will break almost every record at the tournament in the future.
Mbappe clinched the Golden Boot with his second hat-trick in a World Cup final against Argentina, capping off another memorable month on the international stage for the PSG star.
1 Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
Last time: 2nd
In 2022-23: 24 goals, 18 assists. Won World Cup & Trophee des Champions.
Messi, finally ended the long wait for his first World Cup, leading from the front with goals and assists that wowed fans all over the world.
Is there anything anyone else can do to prevent Messi from becoming the tournament’s best player and claiming the Ballon d’Or number 8? Even though the season is still six months away, it may be difficult.
Read More: EPL 2022-23