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.
- WELCOME TO PP NEWS: NEW TO US? CLICK HERE FOR OUR £/€20 SIGN-UP OFFER
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 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. He’s off to MLS with Inter Miami so this could well be his final Ballon d’Or.
Manchester City’s goal machine Erling Haaland might have to wait to pick up his first Ballon d’Or gong. The Norwegian was been sensational in his debut Premier League season but his country 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 former Paris St-Germain 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 for Real Madrid. However, injury ended his World Cup prematurely and, with him heading to join Ronaldo in the desert his days at the top table are over.
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford had a superb 2022/23 campaign for the Red Devils, racking up 30 goals. 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 was a vital cog in City’s amazing 2022/23 treble success.
- Justice! Paddy pays out on Barry Keoghan to scoop best supporting actor at the Oscars
- Introducing… Paddy’s new super fast deposit and withdrawal system
- Win free cash by beating Mark Lawrenson in our Premier League predictions game