The Golden Shortlist: Assessing the odds for the 2023 Ballon d’Or hopefuls
The nominations for the 2023 Ballon d'Or have been revealed, and it features some of the usual suspects, Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, and Vinicius Junior, as contenders for the men's award.
Aitana Bonmati and three other members of Spain's victorious World Cup squad have been nominated for the Ballon d'Or Feminin. Meanwhile, Sophia Smith is the sole representative from the USWNT.
The winners of these prestigious awards will be announced in Paris on October 30th. Still, before this special date, we’re diving deeper into the betting odds and hopefuls surrounding football's most highly recognised solo award.
What is the Ballon d’Or 2023?
The 2023 Ballon d'Or marks the 67th annual ceremony of this prestigious football accolade. Hosted by France Football magazine, it will recognise the world's finest footballers for their outstanding performance during the 2022/23 season.
In a notable departure from tradition, the award will be based on the season's results rather than the calendar year. The season dictating this year’s winner commenced on August 1, 2022, and concluded on July 31, 2023.
The nominees were announced on September 6, 2023, and the ceremony is scheduled for October 30.
Outside of the men's primary award, other accolades such as the Ballon d'Or Féminin, the Kopa Trophy, the Yashin Trophy, the Socrates Award, the Gerd Müller Trophy, and the Club of the Year award will also be presented.
2023 Ballon d’Or nominees and odds
The contenders for the 2023 Ballon d'Or in men's football have been revealed, with Lionel Messi emerging as the leading candidate to secure his eighth prestigious award.
Messi's exceptional performance for Argentina during the 2022 World Cup has propelled him to the forefront of the race.
Erling Haaland is also expected to garner considerable support in the voting process, given his remarkable inaugural season at Manchester City.
Additionally, several English players, namely Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, and Bukayo Saka, have made the cut among the 30-player shortlist.
|Lionel Messi||PSG/Inter Miami/Argentina||1/7|
|Erling Haaland||Man City/Norway||4/1|
|Jude Bellingham||Dortmund/Real Madrid/England||25/1|
|Harry Kane||Spurs/Bayern Munich/England||66/1|
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid/Al Ittihad/France||100/1|
|Vinicius Junior||Real Madrid/Brazil||100/1|
|Julian Alvarez||Man City/Argentina||250/1|
*Players with two clubs have transferred to another team following the 2022/23 season.*
The remaining nominees for the men’s 2023 Ballon d’Or include:
• Nicolo Barella – Inter Milan
• Yassine Bounou – Sevilla
• Kevin De Bruyne – Man City
• Ruben Dias – Man City
• Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid
• Ilkay Gundgan – Man City/Barcelona
• Josko Gvardiol – RB Leipzig/Man City
• Randal Kolo Muani – Eintracht Frankfurt/PSG
• Khvicha Kvaratskhelia – Napoli
• Robert Lewandowski – Barcelona
• Emiliano Martinez – Aston Villa
• Lautaro Martinez – Inter Milan
• Kim Min-jae – Napoli/Bayern Munich
• Luka Modric – Real Madrid
• Jamal Muaiala – Bayern Munich
• Martin Odegaard – Arsenal
• Andre Onana – Man United
• Victor Osimhen – Napoli
• Mohamed Salah – Liverpool
• Bernardo Silva – Man City
Ballon d’Or favourites
The era of domination by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the Ballon d'Or has come to an end. From 2008 to 2021, they held a tight grip on the award, with Luka Modric being the only one to break their streak in 2018.
Most recently, Karim Benzema lifted France's trophy for the first time since Zinedine Zidane, signalling a power shift.
Now, the top positions on the podium are up for grabs by anyone; however, Messi’s World Cup could be a deciding factor in his chance to become an eight-time winner, and the oddsmakers agree.
Lionel Messi – The bookmaker's favourite
When browsing the expert-recommended UK bookmakers for 2023, Lionel Messi is a landslide favourite to win the Ballon d’Or, and it’s not even close.
Inter Miami's standout player, Messi, has made a triumphant comeback to the nominations after being unexpectedly left out of the initial 30-man shortlist for the esteemed 2022 award.
This time, Messi has rightfully earned his place among the global elite vying for the coveted trophy, and he will undoubtedly strive to outperform his competitors and secure his eighth Ballon d'Or.
Given Messi's recent accomplishments, including winning the Ligue 1 title with PSG and the World Cup with Argentina in December, many speculators believe he is a strong contender to claim the 2023 award, and the sportsbooks are in complete agreement as he’s favoured to win across the board.
Erling Haaland – The bookmaker’s second favourite
Erling Haaland shattered numerous records during the previous season, and at one point in late April, it appeared highly likely that he would secure the top spot in the Ballon d'Or rankings by the end of the campaign.
Nevertheless, Haaland's goal-scoring form dwindled towards the end of the season, with only one goal in his last eight games for Man City.
As a result, he will probably fall short in 2023, despite his crucial contribution to Pep Guardiola's team clinching the treble.
Kylian Mbappe – The bookmaker's third favourite
Kylian Mbappe is confident that he has performed exceptionally well to secure the Ballon d'Or in 2023, and there are compelling reasons to support his claim.
He impressively netted more than 50 goals for both his club and national team, secured another league title, and even clinched the prestigious Golden Boot at the World Cup by scoring a remarkable hat-trick in the final.
Nonetheless, his inability to succeed in Qatar and the absence of a substantial Champions League campaign are expected to hinder his chances of securing his highly anticipated inaugural Ballon d'Or this time.
How is the Ballon d’Or winner decided?
The winner of the Ballon d'Or is determined by a panel of 100 journalists representing FIFA's highest-ranked member nations.
Each journalist selects their top five choices from a list of 30 players, with each ranking assigned a specific number of points/votes as follows:
First place: Six points
Second place: Four points
Third place: Three points
Fourth place: Two points
Fifth place: One point
Karim Benzema of Real Madrid emerged as the recipient of the prestigious 2022 Ballon d'Or, securing 549 votes.
This remarkable tally surpassed the second-placed Sadio Mane, who had a stellar season representing Liverpool before his transfer to Bayern Munich, by an impressive margin of 356 votes.
Notably, Benzema's triumph marked the largest winning margin in the award's history.
The most dominant Ballon d’Or winners in history
Messi extended his advantage over Ronaldo in the Ballon d'Or all-time record with two additional trophies after winning in 2021. This advantage remained intact in 2022, as Benzema emerged as the top choice in the voting.
|Player||Ballon d’Or Trophies||Ballon d’Or Winning Years|
|Lionel Messi||7||2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||5||2008, 2013, 1014, 2016, 2017|
|Michel Platini||3||1983, 1984, 1985|
|Johan Cruyff||3||1971, 1973, 1974|
|Marco van Basten||3||1988, 1989, 1992|
|Franz Beckenbauer||2||1972, 1976|
|Alfredo Di Stefano||2||1957, 1959|
|Kevin Keegan||2||1978, 1979|
|Karl-Heinz Rummenigge||2||1980, 1981|