The Ballon d’Or is the most prestigious individual accolade for a player, and tonight will see the stars gather in Paris once again to see who will formerly pick up the award for 2023. Whilst this year’s competition will likely see Lionel Messi pick up his eighth Ballon d’Or, the likes of France captain Kylian Mbappé and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland are also in the running for the award. Let’s take a closer look at the leading candidates for the coveted award.
Erling Haaland – Norway and Manchester City (23)
Erling Haaland’s incredible scoring record has catapulted him into the ranks of Ballon d’Or favorites. The Norwegian sensation is a goal-scoring machine, with an astonishing 56 goals for Manchester City / Norway and a ratio of 0.98 goals per match. The 23-year-old freakish goalscorer has also won the treble with City this season.
Kylian Mbappé – France and PSG (24)
After Karim Benzema picked up the award a year ago, has the Frenchman done enough to keep the award on home territory? The Bondy-born striker has been pivotal in France’s success, netting 54 goals this season for Les Bleus and PSG at a rate of 0.93 goals per match. Mbappé’s electrifying pace, dribbling ability, and his habit of performing on the grandest stages have placed him in contention. Not to mention that hat-trick in the World Cup final…
Harry Kane – England and Bayern Munich / Tottenham (30)
The England captain has switched club, but has had another consistant goalscoring year With 40 goals for The Three Lions and Tottenham / Bayern Munich. The former Premier League ace has a goal ratio of 0.67 per match. Kane is still aiming to become the first English player to win the award since Michael Owen in 2001.
Lionel Messi – Argentina and Inter Miami / PSG (36)
Lionel Messi is a perennial Ballon d’Or candidate. The Argentine maestro, with 38 goals and a goal ratio of 0.7 per match, continues to provide the magic touch for his club (s) and country. The Argentine captain left PSG in the summer and has provided the star power for Inter Miami and David Beckham’s American dream with a Leagues Cup win. Let’s not forget he captained his country to an World Cup victory back in December 2022, against none other than Les Bleus in one of the most entertaining finals in recent times.
Robert Lewandowski – Poland and FC Barcelona (35)
Poland’s Robert Lewandowski is once again a Ballon d’Or contender. With 36 goals for Barcelona and Poland, and a goal ratio of 0.64 per match, the former Bayern Munich man still has his finishing touch, helping Barça win their first La Liga title since 2019.
GFFN | George Boxall