The Ballon d'Or 2023 awards' nominees have been revealed as Argentina's World Cup-winner Lionel Messi returned to the nominations after being left out of the shortlist last year while Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo failed to make the cut for the first time since 2003.
While Lionel Messi will look to win his eighth Ballon d'Or award this year, Manchester City striker Erling Haaland has emerged as his strongest competitor to lift the coveted award for the first time. Apart from them, Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne and Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain are also considered the favourites for the Ballon d'Or 2023 award.
Last year, Messi lifted the FIFA World Cup trophy, the only title he had been missing from his decorated trophy cabinet, as he led Argentina to the World Cup victory in Qatar. Apart from this, Messi had a mixed season at PSG as they successfully defended their Ligue 1 title, however, the Parisians were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League in the Round-of-16 stages for the second consecutive season.
Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Saudi Arabian giants Al-Nassr after his side's frustrating exit from the Qatar World Cup, has been left out of the Ballon d'Or nominations for the first time in 20 years. After falling out with Manchester United ownership and coach Erik ten Hag, Ronaldo parted ways with the Red Devils following his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.
Norway star Erling Haaland had a dream season in the club competitions as he won a treble with Man City consisting of the UCL, Premier League, and the FA Cup. With their treble victory, Manchester City became the first English club since Manchester United in 1999 to win these three trophies in a single season. In the 2022-23 season, Haaland scored 52 goals and registered nine assists in his 53 appearances for Man City across all competitions.
Check the full list of men's Ballon d'Or 2023 nominees:
- André Onana - Manchester United/Cameroon
- Josko Gvardiol - Manchester City/Croatia
- Karim Benzema - Al Ittihad
- Jamal Musiala - Bayern Munich/Germany
- Mohamed Salah - Liverpool/Egypt
- Jude Bellingham - Real Madrid/England
- Bukayo Saka - Arsenal/England
- Randal Kolo Muani - Paris Saint-Germain/France
- Kevin De Bruyne - Manchester City/Belgium
- Bernardo Silva - Manchester City/Portugal
- Emiliano Martínez - Aston Villa/Argentina
- Khvicha Kvaratskhelia - Napoli/Georgia
- Rúben Dias - Manchester City/Portugal
- Nicolo Barella - Inter Milan/Italy
- Erling Haaland - Manchester City/Norway
- Yassine Bounou - Al Hilal/Morocco
- Martin Ødegaard - Arsenal/Norway
- Julián Álvarez - Manchester City/Argentina
- Ilkay Gündogan - Barcelona/Germany
- Vinícius Júnior - Real Madrid/Brazil
- Lionel Messi - Inter Miami/Argentina
- Rodri - Manchester City/Spain
- Lautaro Martínez - Inter Milan/Argentina
- Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid/France
- Robert Lewandowski - Barcelona/Poland
- Kylian Mbappé - Paris Saint-Germain/France
- Kim Min-Jae - Napoli/South Korea
- Victor Osimhen - Napoli/Nigeria
- Luka Modric - Real Madrid/Croatia
- Harry Kane - Bayern Munich/England