This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Ballon d’Or 2023: Messi, Haaland, Mbappe frontrunners for men’s best players

This year’s edition is promised to be a unique Ballon d’Or battle as several footballers have a fair chance of winning the prestigious trophy. 

The Ballon d’Or, given to the best footballer of the year, has dished out the shortlist nominees for the men’s and women’s with a host of top names competing for the prize.

With 30 male and 20 female players making the list, Lionel Messi’s successful mission to secure Argentina’s much-awaited FIFA World Cup glory has framed him as a top pick for a potential eighth trophy.

The 36-year-old, who left Paris Saint-Germain this summer to join MLS side Inter Miami, was named player of the tournament in Qatar after scoring seven goals, including two in the final against France.

Messi is one of just four players to have won the award in the last 15 years, along with five-time conqueror Cristiano Ronaldo.

Notably, Ronaldo has not been nominated for this year’s edition, ending a 20-year run by the second-most decorated player in the trophy’s history. Now playing for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo missed the cut for the first time since 2003.

After Messi, Erling Haaland’s record-breaking exploits for treble-winners Manchester City could edge him to win his first Ballon d’Or.

Haaland is among 12 nominated Premier League players and seven Manchester City players that includes the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, Julian Alvarez, Rodrigo, and Josko Gvardiol.

Described as a once-in-a-blue-moon moment, Kylian Mbappe’s World Cup final hat trick has also led him into the Ballon d’Or race.

Before being dropped by PSG, Mbappe was voted the Ligue 1 Player of the Season for the fourth successive time as the club lifted a record 11th French title.

Meanwhile, despite having an under-par season with Real Madrid, Karim Benzema’s nomination follows 19 goals in 24 games. He also achieved a hat-trick against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final.

Benzema has still managed to create history for himself and the football world despite facing injuries that has stunted his career.

Last year, at 34, Benzema became the oldest Ballon d’Or winner in 66 years and the first Frenchman to win the prestigious award since Zidane in 1998.

Securing his childhood dream with his first Ballon d’Or, Benzema won the 2022 Ballon d’Or by 356 votes from runner-up Sadio Mane, the second biggest victory in the award’s history.

Men’s Ballon d’Or nominees

Josko Gvardiol (Manchester City, Croatia)

Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich, Germany)

Andre Onana (Manchester United, Cameroon)

Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad, France)

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt)

Bukayo Saka (Arsenal, England)

Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City, Belgium)

Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid, England)

Randal Kolo Muani (Paris St-Germain, France)

Bernardo Silva (Manchester City, Portugal)

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli, Georgia)

Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan, Italy)

Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa, Argentina)

Ruben Dias (Manchester City, Portugal)

Erling Haaland (Manchester City, Norway)

Martin Odegaard (Arsenal, Norway)

Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona, Germany)

Yassine Bounou (Al Hilal, Morocco)

Julian Alvarez (Manchester City, Argentina)

Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid, Brazil)

Rodri (Manchester City, Spain)

Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid, France)

Lionel Messi (Inter Miami, Argentina)

Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan, Argentina)

Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona, Poland)

Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich, South Korea)

Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia)

Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain, France)

Harry Kane (Bayern Munich, England)

Victor Osimhen (Napoli, Nigeria)

On the women’s front, the 2022-23 season was dominated by Spanish football, as Barcelona won both their domestic title and the Champions League before thrillingly sealing the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Six Barcelona nominees have been named for the Women’s Ballon d’Or, including Fridolina Rolfo, Salma Paralluelo, Patricia Guijarro, Aitana Bonmati, Asisat Oshoala, and Mapi Leon.

Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas is out of the run after missing most of the campaign with a knee injury.

Favoured to lift the Ballon d’Or is Bonmati, who has just about everything for club and country, starring for both Barcelona and Spain with 21 goals and 23 assists in all competitions.

Outside of Spain, the English side has seen several sides receive nominations, as Millie Bright, Rachel Daly, Mary Earps, and Georgia Stanway have all been inked in the shortlist.

Women’s Ballon d’Or nominees

Aitana Bonmati (Spain and Barcelona)

Millie Bright (England and Chelsea)

Linda Caicedo (Colombia and Real Madrid)

Olga Carmona (Spain and Real Madrid)

Rachel Daly (England and Aston Villa)

Debinha (Brazil and North Carolina Courage/Kansas City)

Kadidiatou Diani (France and Lyon)

Mary Earps (England and Manchester United)

Patricia Guijarro (Spain and Barcelona)

Yui Hasegawa (Japan and Manchester City)

Amanda Ilestedt (Sweden and Paris St-Germain/Arsenal)

Sam Kerr (Australia and Chelsea)

Mapi Leon (Spain and Barcelona)

Katie McCabe (Republic of Ireland and Arsenal)

Hinata Miyazawa (Japan and MyNavi Sendai/Manchester United)

Lena Oberdorf (Germany and Wolfsburg)

Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Barcelona)

Ewa Pajor (Poland and Wolfsburg)

Salma Paralluelo (Spain and Barcelona)

Alexandra Popp (Germany and Wolsburg)

Hayley Raso (Australia and Man City/Real Madrid)

Alba Redondo (Spain and Levante) 

Guro Reiten (Norway and Chelsea)

Wendie Renard (France and Lyon)

Fridolina Rolfo (Sweden and Barcelona)

Jill Roord (Netherlands and Wolfsburg/Manchester City)

Khadija Shaw (Jamaica and Manchester City)

Sophia Smith (United States and Portland Thorns)

Georgia Stanway (England and Bayern Munich)

Daphne van Domselaar (Netherlands and Twente/Aston Villa