It used to be Cristiano Ronaldo’s favourite day, the Ballon d’Or award ceremony. Less so in recent years, of course, and with him shipped off to a Saudi Arabian retirement home he can effectively kiss goodbye to getting his hands on another big golden statue of a football.
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But who’s likely to be crowned the world’s best player in 2023? The awards are hurtling towards us now and, with the ceremony set for Monday October 16, Paddy’s trusty football traders have priced up the latest odds and betting for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.
Argentina and Paris St-Germain superstar Lionel Messi looks to have a good chance of winning his eighth Ballon d’Or this year after guiding his country to glory in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. He already had a Copa America in the cabinet, but lifting the Jules Rimet after bagging a brace in the final elevated his legendary status even higher.
Manchester City’s goal machine Erling Haaland might have to wait to pick up his first Ballon d’Or gong. The Norwegian has been sensational in the Premier League this season but his contry missed out on the World Cup finals and history dictates you need a strong showing in the international tournament during years where they take place to win this.
Messi’s team-mate Kylian Mbappe was on fire during the 2022 World Cup and he almost single-handedly dragged France to glory, scoring a hat-trick in the final. However, they went on to lose to Argentina on penalties and, like Haaland, you feel his time will come.
Karim Benzema won the 2022 edition of this based on his amazing performances in the Champions League. However, injury ended his World Cup prematurely and even similar heroics in Europe this time around might not still be enough to pip Messi.
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has been having a superb season for the Red Devils and is enjoying his best-ever campaign on the goal front. His excellent work continues off the pitch as well but it’ll take some doing to overhaul Messi.
Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City’s midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne also features highly on our list. The Belgian did go to the World Cup but looked out of sorts as his nation went home early. He’ll be looking to help City continue their trophy hunt on the domestic and European front.
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