France Football have announced their 30-man shortlist for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award.
Record six-time winner Lionel Messi is chasing a seventh crown as he’s the favourite after helping Argentina win a third World Cup in Qatar last winter.
OFFICIAL: The nominees for the 2023 Ballon d'Or:
🇭🇷 Josko Gvardiol
🇩🇪 Jamal Musiala
🇨🇲 Andre Onana
🇫🇷 Karim Benzema
🇪🇬 Mo Salah
🏴 Bukayo Saka
🇧🇪 Kevin De Bruyne
🏴 Jude Bellingham
🇫🇷 Randal Kolo Muani
🇵🇹 Bernando Silva
🇬🇪 Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
🇮🇹 Nicolo Barella
— Squawka (@Squawka) September 6, 2023
Find the latest 2023 Ballon d’Or odds* here:
|Lionel Messi favourite||1/9 with Sky Bet|
|Other contenders||Sky Bet|
You have to be 18+ to gamble. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (15:00, 16/10/2023). BeGambleAware.
Prestigious, but not important
As touched upon, Messi is leading the pack, but he faces stiff competition for Erling Haaland following the Norwegian marksman’s incredible 2022/23 campaign with Manchester City which saw him bag 52 goals across 53 matches in all competitions. His goals were a big reason behind City’s historic treble success.
However, for all the adulation that comes with this award, plus the many column inches, some have wondered out loud why an individual prize holds so much weight in what’s effectively a team sport. The former Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger once stated individual prizes lead to players thinking about themselves.
“I’m against all these things. I’ve seen careers destroyed because the players are too much obsessed to get individual rewards,” he said.
“I feel sometimes it encourages selfishness and people to go too much for their own sake when some partners are in a better position.”
Jose Mourinho, then in charge of Chelsea, agreed with Wenger’s assessment: “I think he is right. In this moment, football is losing a little bit the concept of the team to focus more on the individual.”
Toni Kroos, who joined Real Madrid soon after Mourinho left, reiterated these points on his latest podcast.
“My opinion is that individual awards are unnecessary in a team sport. I’ve always said that and I stand by that. No single player would have won anything on their own,” the ex-German international commented.
“It is prestigious, but not important. That’s a big difference. My idea is simply that I don’t find it important, or not as important as other players. No single player would have won anything on their own.”
Who’s in the running for 2023 Ballon d’Or Féminin?
Since introduced in 2018 there have been three different winners of the Ballon d’Or Féminin with Ada Hegerberg being the inaugural recipient. Megan Rapinoe and Alexia Putellas would celebrate the individual achievement before Putellas successfully defended her title.
Putellas though will not be in the running to make it three straight after missing a chunk of time due to injury. Her international and Barcelona teammate Aitana Bonmatí is the big favourite after she played a significant role in Spain’s recent World Cup success.
- Alba Redondo – (Levante Union Deportiva/Spain)
- Kadidiatou Diani – (Lyon/France)
- Rachel Daly – (Aston Villa/England)
- Linda Caicedo – (Real Madrid/Colombia)
- Fridolina Rolfo – (Barcelona/Sweden)
- Olga Carmona – (Real Madrid/Spain)
- Amanda Ilestedt – (Arsenal/Sweden)
- Hayley Raso – (Real Madrid/Australia)
- Georgia Stanway – (Bayern Munich/England)
- Sophia Smith – (Portland Thorns/USA)
- Hinata Miyazawa – (Manchester United/Japan)
- Salma Paralluelo – (Barcelona/Spain)
- Lena Oberdorf – (Wolfsburg/Germany)
- Millie Bright – (Chelsea/England)
- Daphne van Domselaar – (Aston Villa/Netherlands)
- Sam Kerr – (Chelsea/Australia)
- Patricia Guijarro – (Barcelona/Spain)
- Ewa Pajor – (Wolfsburg/Poland)
- Debinha – (Kansas City/Brazil)
- Guro Reiten – (Chelsea/Norway)
- Yui Hasegawa – (Manchester City/Japan)
- Aitana Bonmati – (Barcelona/Spain)
- Jill Roord – (Manchester City/Netherlands)
- Alexandria Popp – (Wolfsburg/Germany)
- Katie McCabe – (Arsenal/Ireland)
- Mary Earps – (Manchester United/England)
- Wendie Renard – (Lyon/France)
- Mapi Leon – (Barcelona/Spain)
- Asisat Oshoala – (Barcelona/Nigeria)
- Khadija Shaw – (Manchester City/Jamaica)