10 favorites for Ballon d’Or 2023

Each season, the Ballon d’Or list becomes the talk of the football world. History’s 77th Golden Ball will be awarded on October 30. Three favorite players will stand outside and some other players will act as underdogs.

Who will replace Karim Benzema and Alexia Puteles? On 30 October, the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony will take place at the Théâtre du Chatelet. Paris, Inspired by Manchester City’s hat-trick, suspense remains on the winner of the Golden Ball this 2023 season.

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Ballon d’Or 2023: Erling Haaland, the season of all records

Erling Haaland is already shining in his first season with Manchester City. The Norwegians have achieved the treble (Cup, Championship, Champions League) with Pep Guardiola’s formation. Arriving from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2022, it didn’t take long for the 1.95m striker to adapt to the British air. Thirty-six goals in 35 Premier League games, breaking Mohamed Salah’s record for most Premier League goals in a season. Egypt scored 32 goals in the 2017–2018 season. But the Norwegian does not know how to stop there. 12 goals in 11 Champions League games were added to the tally of cup goals, taking his total to 52 goals in 53 games in all competitions in the 2022–23 financial year.

Erling Haaland v Sheffield United 27 August 2023 Photo by Icon Sport

Ballon d’Or 2023: Lionel Messi, the eighth for future generations

Big favorite for some, not in the top 3 for others. Lionel Messi’s season divides observers. World Cup winner and captain in QatarAlbiseleste, Lionel Messi is one of the three favorites in the final standings. Despite a disappointing season at Paris Saint-Germain, the Rosario native won Ligue 1 with the capital club. The Argentine player was also the league’s top provider with 16 assists and 16 goals. Figures that can make up for PSG’s lack of trophies and failure in the Champions League. The man who despised the extraordinary for more than 15 years was divided over his last season at PSG. But Messi is firmly placed as a strong contender for final victory. Eighth Ballon d’Or to satisfy an absolute record in the history of football.

Lionel Messi poses with the trophy for the best player of the World Cup. Photo by Icon Sport

Ballon d’Or 2023: Kevin De Bruyne, the reward for fulfilling his duty

Kevin de Bruyne, who has been injured for a few weeks, can also claim the Ballon d’Or. The Belgium international has had an impressive season with Manchester City as usual. The Premier League’s top passer, KDB delivered 16 caviar across the top flight of English football last season. Capitalizing on Guardiola’s possession play, the Belgian midfielder was pivotal in success in the Champions League. Despite a World Cup failure with the Red Devils (group exits against Croatia and Morocco), the captain of the selection could claim the Golden Ball this season. A trophy that would reward all his work since his arrival in England.

Kevin De Bruyne vs Burnley on 15th August 2023 Photo by Icon Sport

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Ballon d’Or 2023: Rodri, the city’s metronome

The true essentials of Pep Guardiola’s eleven, rodri Established himself as one of the best No.6 in the world. The Spaniard has won four trophies this season, the famous club treble with Manchester City and the Nations League with La Rosa. Fifty-six games played in the 2022-2023 financial year and defining moments such as his stunning goal in the first leg against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals. The best player of the Champions League campaign in 2022-2023, the Spanish midfielder is also the MVP of the final and the Nations League in selection. The characteristics that make him a favorite for the Golden Ball. However, his position may unfortunately serve him well. Rarely have defensive midfielders been rewarded. We have to go back to 2006 and see a defensive business player rewarded in Fabio Cannavaro. Rodri plays a key role in Guardiola’s system. The Spaniard has completed 905 of 965 passes attempted, more than any other player in the Champions League this season.

Rodri celebrates after scoring against Sheffield United. Photo by Icon Sport

Ballon d’Or 2023: Ilkay Gundogan, Guardiola’s master key

Arriving from Manchester City in 2016, Ilkay Gundogan has made over 300 appearances under the Citizens’ tunic. As one of the highlights, the 2022-2023 season ended with a historic hat-trick with which he is no stranger. Double scorer in FA Cup final, German international is one of the great architects of victory in Champions League. Captain after KDB’s injury, it is he who will lift the cup with big ears. Ilkay Gundogan left Manchester City for FC Barcelona this summer, so he ended his adventure in England in the best possible way.

Ilkay Gundogan celebrates a Champions League victory on June 10, 2023 in Istanbul. Photo by Icon Sport

He, along with Victor Oshimen, is a symbol of Napoli’s revival this season. Khvicha Kvartskhelia’s nickname is Crvardona which allowed the Sicilian club to find the Scudetto after 33 years. A full season in Serie A and the Champions League quarter-finals. With his 16 goals and 17 assists, he could spring a surprise this 2023 edition of the Ballon d’Or. The Georgian international made headlines in Italy, but little less so in the Champions League with 2 goals and 4 assists. He was also voted the best young player in the Champions League and the best player of the season in Serie A.

Khvicha Kvartskhelia vs Sassuolo on 27 August 2023 Photo by Icon Sport

Ballon d’Or 2023: Vinicius Junior, the diamond finally shines

Karim Benzema leads Real Madrid during the 2021-2022 season, meanwhile Vinicius has established himself as the White House’s main offensive weapon during this 2022-2023 season. The Brazilian conquered Europe with his dribbling and pace. The rough diamond that came in 2018 is now polished. In 54 games, Vinicius provided 21 assists and scored 23 times. At a slightly moribund Real Madrid, the Brazilian has got his head out of the water. At the close of the White Season, the club from the Spanish capital nevertheless won a Spanish Cup and a Club World Cup.

Vinicius Junior celebrates a goal against Almeria in La Liga. Photo by Icon Sport

Ballon d’Or 2023: Bernardo Silva, relentless

He is one of the highest running players in Europe. Bernardo Silva has been an integral part of Manchester City’s success this season. While not necessarily the leading goalscorer, the Portuguese is not a player who will beg all the statistics, but his contribution to City’s game is well established. Only 7 small goals and 8 assists last year, but at critical moments, the former Monegasque responded to the present. His performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg speaks for itself. His versatility makes him one of Pep Guardiola’s most valuable players. Bernardo Silva can play in the center of the game as well as playing on either flank. The Portuguese has extended his contract with City until 2026 with a €60m buyout clause.

Bernardo Silva vs Leicester on 29 October 2022. Photo by Icon Sport

Ballon d’Or 2023: Jude Bellingham, the future of the Three Lions

Jude Bellingham, voted best player in the Bundesliga last year, is one of the young players to follow. The talented midfielder recently left Borussia Dortmund for Real Madrid for an amount of 100 million Euros. With the German club, Bellingham almost knocked out the great Bayern in the Bundesliga last year. But Borussia drew Dortmund in the lesson and the title went to Bavaria on the 34th and final day. The English international also had a decent World Cup run with his selection until their quarter-final exit against the French side. The former Borussen has established himself as a must-have player wherever he has gone and his coast to ascent at Real Madrid should not stop.

Jude Bellingham vs Borussia Monchengladbach. Photo by Icon Sport

Ballon d’Or 2023: Kylian Mbappe, an uncrowned king

It is not necessary to think that this is the best season that Kylian Mbappé can enter into the debate for the Golden Ball award. But from a statistical point of view, the season of the French striker is still impressive. 41 goals in 43 games in all competitions with Paris Saint-Germain. Mbappe was an assistant at the capital club. An ignorant PSG who take themselves away from their number 7. But with Ligue 1 his only trophy, the France international will certainly have to miss out on the trophy he so desperately craves this season. Even an XXL performance in the World Cup final may not allow him to break into the top 3 this season. To hope to win, Mbappe will have to win the trophy that has long eluded PSG, the Champions League.

Kylian Mbappe celebrates his goal against RC Lens on August 26, 2023. Photo by Icon Sport

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