The Ballon d’Or 2023 is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested races in recent memory. Three standout players have emerged as the top contenders for the coveted award: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé, and Erling Haaland.
1. Lionel Messi, the Paris Saint-Germain forward, is in pole position to win a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or. Messi led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in 2022, picking up the Golden Ball award for the tournament’s best player. With 15 goals and 15 assists in 24 appearances so far this season for PSG, the 35-year-old is in superb form and looking to continue his impressive run.
2. Kylian Mbappé, also of Paris Saint-Germain, is one of Messi’s biggest competitors for the award. Despite France’s defeat in the World Cup final to Argentina, Mbappé took home the Golden Boot award for being the tournament’s top scorer. This season, the 24-year-old has scored 25 goals and registered six assists in 26 appearances across all competitions for PSG. Though Mbappé’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or are somewhat hampered by the presence of teammate Messi, he still has a strong shot at the top prize.
3. Erling Haaland, the Manchester City striker, is another player to watch in the Ballon d’Or race. Haaland is currently the top scorer in the Premier League and has already scored 31 goals and registered three assists in 27 appearances for Man City this season. Although Norway’s failure to qualify for the World Cup may have damaged Haaland’s chances, the 22-year-old could still win the Ballon d’Or if he helps Man City lift a couple of major trophies this term.
In conclusion, the Ballon d’Or 2023 is shaping up to be a three-horse race between Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé, and Erling Haaland. All three players have had impressive performances this season, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top in the end.