Ballon d’Or 2023 Power Rankings: Predicting the Potential Winner of Football’s Prestigious Award

The announcement of the recipient of the 2023 Ballon d’Or is scheduled for October 30, while the nominees for various categories, such as the Kopa trophy, the Yachine trophy, and the “Socrates Prize,” will be revealed on September 6.

In the past, the Ballon d’Or award was based on players’ performances throughout a calendar year, but it has now been aligned with the sports season calendar. The selection criteria have also been adjusted to place a greater emphasis on individual performances and the exceptional qualities of the contenders. This is followed by considering collective achievements, trophies won, as well as the player’s sportsmanship and class.

The voting process has also undergone changes, with the jury size reduced from 170 to 100 voters. The new jury comprises journalists from the top 100 nations in the FIFA rankings. Additionally, the Women’s Golden Ball is now determined by 50 voters.

Which player will emerge victorious and claim the Ballon d’Or accolade for the year 2023?

Get ready for a thrilling competition! The upcoming Ballon d’Or will be granted to players based on their performances throughout the entire calendar year, ensuring that those who demonstrate exceptional skills during the 2022/23 season will undoubtedly be considered for the prestigious nomination.

After delivering remarkable displays on the field, two standout contenders have emerged as the primary subjects of discussion to claim the coveted award by the end of 2023: Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland.

1. Erling Haaland

Club: Manchester City

Country: Norway

Club stats in 2022/23:

Games: 53

Goals: 52

Assists: 9

Trophies: 

🏆 Premier League
🏆 FA Cup winner
🏆 Champions League winner

Individual awards in his first season at Manchester City: 

🏅 Premier League Golden Boot winner
🏅 Premier League Player of the Season

Manchester City has secured the services of an exceptional goal-scoring talent this summer!

Erling Haaland has been a shining star for Pep Guardiola’s team this season. We are witnessing the Norwegian international’s brilliance as he lights up the Premier League with his remarkable ability to find the back of the net, currently leading the list of top goal-scorers.

His outstanding performances throughout 2022 earned him a place in the Best XI at The Best FIFA Football Awards. Haaland made history against West Ham by setting a new world record for the most goals scored in a 38-game Premier League season (35).

With his impressive contributions to Manchester City, Haaland is undeniably a strong contender for the upcoming Ballon d’Or trophy. Guardiola’s side accomplished a historic treble by winning the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League titles at the conclusion of the 2022/23 campaign.

2. Lionel Messi

Club: PSG

Country: Argentina

Club stats in 2022/23:

Games: 41

Goals: 21

Assists: 20

World Cup stats:

Caps: 7

Goals: 7

Assists: 3

Trophies:

🏆FIFA World Cup
🏆French Ligue 1

Individual awards: 

🏅FIFA Men’s Best Player of 2022

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – MARCH 23: Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates with the World Cup during the celebrations after an international friendly match between Argentina and Panama at Estadio Más Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on March 23, 2023 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

Despite not being nominated for the Ballon d’Or in 2022, Lionel Messi has shown his resilience by adapting to his new team, PSG, and returning even stronger. The maestro of football remains as determined as ever to showcase his skills to the world.

As a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, Messi is once again in the race, leaving fans mesmerized with his performances for both his club and the national team. He had a formidable Argentina side to compete with in Qatar, leading them to confidently lift the World Cup trophy. Unsurprisingly, Messi was honored as the FIFA Men’s Best Player of 2022, acknowledging his exceptional talent and hard work.

In PSG’s quest for success, they secured the Ligue 1 title with a draw against Strasbourg on May 27, 2023. Messi played a significant role in this achievement by surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for the most goals in Europe’s top five leagues, with his 496th club goal.

Looking ahead to the next season, PSG manager Christophe Galtier confirmed that Messi will be leaving the French club at the end of the 2022/23 season. The Argentine superstar has announced his decision to join Inter Miami in the MLS for the following term.

In a recent interview, Messi expressed that winning the Ballon d’Or is not his main concern at this stage of his life. His focus primarily lies on his accomplishments with his club and the national team. Nevertheless, he continues to amaze the world with his performances for the Argentina national team during summer-friendly matches.

3. Kevin De Bruyne

Club: Manchester City

Country: Belgium

Club stats in 2022/23:

Games: 49

Goals: 10

Assists: 31

World Cup stats:

Caps: 3

Trophies: 

🏆 Premier League
🏆 FA Cup winner
🏆 Champions League winner

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 11: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City on the ball during the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg match between Manchester City and FC Bayern M¸nchen at Etihad Stadium on April 11, 2023 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Callis / ATP images)

Kevin De Bruyne has once again experienced a delightful season at Manchester City.

The Belgian midfielder has been a crucial player in Pep Guardiola’s squad, contributing significantly to their pursuit of consecutive Premier League titles and securing the FA Cup trophy. In 2022, De Bruyne’s exceptional performances earned him a well-deserved place in the world’s Best XI.

City’s long-standing ambition to win the coveted Champions League title has finally been realized. The club triumphed by defeating Inter Milan in the tournament’s final, marking a historic moment for the team.

4. Lautaro Martinez

Club: Inter Milan 

Country: Argentina

Club stats in 2022/23:

Games: 56

Goals: 28

Assists: 11

World Cup stats:

Caps: 6

Trophies:

🏆World Cup 
🏆Coppa Italia

MILAN, ITALY – MAY 16: Lautaro Martinez of FC Internazionale celebrates the team’s victory with the PlayStation Player of the Match award trophy after the final whistle of the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg match between FC Internazionale and AC Milan at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 16, 2023 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Inter Milan are returning to their winning ways in Europe, with Lautaro Martinez being one of the main figures to help them on their journey. 

The Argentine attacker’s huge contribution helped the Serie A side to lift the Coppa Italia trophy and reach the Champions League final, where they faced a 1 – 0 defeat to the Citizens. 

Due to his impressive performances, Martinez has now been linked with a number of top European sides, including Arsenal and Manchester United. 

5.Kylian Mbappe

In 2022-23: 55 goals, 14 assists. Won Ligue 1.

Mbappe is confident that he has performed at a level deserving of winning the Ballon d’Or in 2023, and it is not challenging to present a compelling argument in his favor. With over 50 goals scored for both his club and country, as well as securing another league title, his accomplishments speak for themselves. Additionally, he claimed the Golden Boot at the World Cup, achieving a remarkable hat-trick in the final.

However, despite these impressive achievements, falling short in Qatar and the absence of a substantial run in the Champions League are likely to hinder his chances of securing what appears to be an inevitable first Ballon d’Or this time around.

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