As we kick off another year of football, Ace Football names the 10 current favorites for the prestigious 2023 Ballon d’Or award.
After witnessing Karim Benzema claim his first Ballon d’Or last year, football’s biggest stars enter 2023 more determined than ever to lay their hands on the iconic award.
A combination of votes from football journalists, coaches, and team captains decides the winner of France Football’s annual accolade – only this year France Football has changed some rules.
The key one is that the votes will be based on performances for the 2022/23 season and how the players performed for their respective nations at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar last winter.
So, with these new factors in mind, Ace Football checks out the 10 current favorites to win the 67th edition of the Ballon d’Or as of May 2023. If you want to place bets on the Ballon d’Or winner or any other interesting betting markets, then make sure you check out Fun88 and their betting offer.
10) Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) 🇬🇧
Marcus Rashford has had his most impressive campaign in a Red Devils jersey. He has been Manchester United’s go-to guy for goals under Erik ten Hag. In fact, in 52 appearances across all competitions, he’s smashed home 29 goals and dished out 11 assists.
Rashford was also on target in February’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final to help United win a first trophy since 2017.
9) Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) 🇫🇷
Fresh off his maiden Ballon d’Or success, Karim Benzema has had another excellent year. The striker has put away 29 goals and six assists in 41 games for Real Madrid. His exploits have helped the club win the Copa del Rey, FIFA Club World Cup, and UEFA Super Cup.
That said, Benzema hasn’t quite been on the same level as last year – mostly due to injury woes, which cost him a chance to play at the 2022 World Cup for France.
8) Robert Lewandowski (FC Barcelona) 🇵🇱
At the ripe old age of 34, Robert Lewandowski took on a new challenge. He swapped the all-conquering German champs Bayern Munich for the cash-strapped Barcelona last summer in a €45 million transfer.
There have been a few up and downs, but it’s fair to say Lewandowski has had a great first season. The Pole leads the LaLiga goal charts, with 22 goals. In all competitions, he has put away 32 goals and seven assists. His efforts have helped Barca win a first league title since 2019 and the Spanish Super Cup.
7) Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli) 🇬🇪
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was an integral part of Napoli’s Serie A title-winning squad. The Georgian winger is the leading assist-maker in Italian league this season.
In 41 games across all competitions, Kvaratskhelia has put away 14 goals and 17 assists. To no one’s surprise, this talented 22-year-old has caught the eye of major teams like Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Paris Saint-Germain, fueling some juicy transfer rumors for the summer.
6) Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) 🇧🇪
With a new partner in crime in Erling Haaland this season, Kevin De Bruyne has been dishing out the assists like nobody’s business for the treble-chasing Manchester City.
The Belgium international has reached double figures again with 10 goals and 28 assists in all competitions. His playmaking skills have helped City win another league title and reach the FA Cup and Champions League finals.
5) Victor Osimhen (Napoli) 🇳🇬
What a season for Victor Osimhen! His incredible performance has earned him a spot on the Ballon d’Or list. Some may consider him an underdog for the top prize, but let’s not forget the amazing feat he achieved in Naples.
Osimhen played a crucial role in securing Napoli’s first Serie A title since the legendary Diego Maradona era in 1990. He led the league with an impressive 23 goals – a truly historic campaign that will be remembered for years to come.
4) Kylian Mbappe (PSG) 🇫🇷
The main reason why Kylian Mbappe ranks in fourth in the Ballon d’Or list is down to his World Cup heroics. He scored eight goals for France – including an unbelievable hat-trick toward the end of the final – and was unlucky not to come away with another winners’ medal.
At Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappe has been great, but not quite up to last season’s sky-high standard. He has once again smashed home countless goals in Ligue 1, but PSG’s last-16 Champions League and Coupe de France exits have put a slight dent on his campaign.
3) Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid) 🇧🇷
This season, Vinicius Junior has stepped up onto the mantle of Real Madrid’s main man. The winger may not be as prolific as Benzema, but his movement, energy, and on-ball skills make him a joy to watch.
In just 54 games, Vinicius has notched an impressive 23 goals and 21 assists across all competitions. You’ll want to applaud this 22-year-old, who’s helped Real Madrid come out on top in the Copa del Rey, FIFA Club World Cup, and UEFA Super Cup!
2) Erling Haaland (Manchester City) 🇳🇴
Erling Haaland is not just any young talent in football anymore. He’s now one of the world’s greatest players and quite possibly the best scorer on the planet!
When Haaland joined Manchester City last summer, he wasted no time in making an impact. The striker has got 52 goals and eight assists in only 50 games. With his contributions, the club has clinched the Premier League title and made it to the finals of both the FA Cup and Champions League. You can’t deny it – Haaland is a force to be reckoned with!
1) Lionel Messi (PSG) 🇦🇷
Lionel Messi’s biggest claim for an eighth Ballon d’Or lies in his World Cup performances. In Qatar, he played a starring role as Argentina ended an agonizing 36-year wait for World Cup glory – handing him the one trophy that had eluded him throughout his entire career.
At club level, Messi has enjoyed a much stronger year in his second season at PSG. He has 20 goals and 20 assists in 39 games, including a league-best 16 assists in Ligue 1. He looks set for a second French league title.
“Erling Haaland 2023” by Jacek Stanislawek is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.