The Ballon d’Or is the most prestigious individual award handed out in European football. It recognises the player that has made the biggest impact in Europe over the last 12 months.
Here’s a look at the top five contenders to pick up the award in 2023:
5. Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)
🔺 First Bundesliga hat trick
🔺 Two assists
Loving life in Munich 🍻 pic.twitter.com/MHDZKEevAA
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 23, 2023
England international Harry Kane scored 30 goals in the Premier League last season. That brought up his tally in the English league to 213 goals, with only Alan Shearer ahead of him on that list with 260 goals.
The 30-year-old opted to leave Tottenham last summer for a new challenge at Bayern Munich and he has gotten off to a flying start with the German giants. Kane has scored eight goals in his opening seven Bundesliga games.
Should the talented striker win the Ballon d’Or award this year, he will become the first Englishman to do so since Michael Owen in 2001.
4. Rodri (Manchester City)
Rodri is a crucial player in Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side in the Premier League. He has shown himself to be the leading defensive midfielder in Europe right now.
After helping his team to the trophy in the final, the Spaniard was named the Champions League Player of the Season for his performances. He was also recognised by UEFA following the Nations League, as he was named the Best Player at that international tournament.
3. Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)
After sealing his dream move to Real Madrid in the summer, Jude Bellingham continues to go from strength to strength. He has scored 10 goals in his opening 10 games for the Spanish club.
The former Dortmund midfielder is one of the most exciting players in Europe right now. He has been tipped to be a future England captain and his best years are likely to still be ahead of him.
If not this year, Bellingham looks certain to be a Ballon d’Or winner one day soon.
2. Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
In what was his first season in England since moving to Manchester City, Erling Haaland scored 52 goals, breaking several records in the Premier League. He was unstoppable in Guardiola’s treble-winning team.
The Norwegian will be a key player once again for City as they bid to defend their Premier League title. Unsurprisingly, the Cityzens are currently priced as the favourites to take a consecutive win with great odds of 8/11 in the outright online sports betting markets. With Haaland off to a fantastic start again, City look set for more glory.
1. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)
Lionel Messi’s numbers speak for themselves 💫 pic.twitter.com/fJFz7etxyC
— GOAL (@goal) September 6, 2023
Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is the one to beat again in this year’s race for the crown. He helped his country win the World Cup last December where he was named Player of the Tournament.
Messi scored 21 goals for PSG in his final season in France and he has found the back of the net 11 times in his opening 13 matches for Inter Miami. Despite being 35 now, he remains one of the best forwards in world football.
All five players will be in contention for the Ballon d’Or trophy when it is handed out at the inaugural ceremony on October 30th.