Will Lionel Messi win the Ballon d’Or for a record eight time? The Argentine legend who won the World Cup will face competition from Manchester City’s treble-winning striker Erling Haaland for this year’s honour. Aitana Bonmati of Spain is competing for the female award after inspiring her nation to World Cup victory in August. The ceremony is scheduled for October.
The men’s 2023 Ballon d’Or shortlist is led by Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland, while Aitana Bonmati of Spain leads the women’s nominees.
Messi, 36, is the frontrunner to win another Ballon d’Or award after helping Argentina win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He has won a record seven of them in his career.
Erling Haaland, who helped Manchester City achieve an unprecedented triple of the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League with 52 goals in his debut season, will be among his strongest rivals.
The shortlist includes five further Manchester City players, and Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain might contend with Haaland and Messi for the prize.
Despite being on the losing end of the World Cup final, Mbappe’s hat-trick brought France to within one point of successfully defending their championship. The 2022 winner Karim Benzema is also on the shortlist, while Cristiano Ronaldo, who had a lacklustre run with Manchester United until joining Al-Nassr in January, is not included. Jude Bellingham, Harry Kane, and Bukayo Saka, three players from England, are also finalists.
Below is the full list of the nominees!