Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland pitted against each other in the Ballon d’Or Race

The race for the 2023 Ballon d’Or has come to a close, and as the final trophies of the season have been handed out, it’s time to speculate on how the top 20 contenders are likely to be ranked. Lionel Messi, despite his stuttering form during the second half of the season, is expected to claim the prestigious award once again, thanks in large part to his iconic World Cup win with Argentina.

While Messi’s triumph in the World Cup is expected to be the defining factor in securing his eighth Ballon d’Or, it is also likely to be his last win of the award. With rumors circulating that he may be done with European football following his move to Inter Miami, the footballing world might witness the end of an era.

Also Read: Who won most Ballon D’or: Messi or Ronaldo

Erling Haaland, who had a phenomenal season with Manchester City, broke numerous records and was considered a strong contender for the Ballon d’Or. However, a goal drought towards the end of the season might hinder his chances, despite his crucial contributions to City’s treble-winning campaign.

Kylian Mbappe, another formidable talent, had an outstanding season, scoring over 50 goals for club and country and winning yet another league title. He also clinched the Golden Boot at the World Cup with a hat-trick in the final. However, his team’s early exit from the Champions League and the lack of a deep run in the tournament might cost him his first Ballon d’Or for now.

Vinicius Jr, the Brazilian forward from Real Madrid, solidified his status as a world-class player with an impressive season. Despite facing opposition from fans, he maintained superb form throughout the campaign and won several trophies, including the Copa del Rey and UEFA Super Cup. While falling short in the Champions League may prevent him from making the podium this year, he is seen as a future winner of the Ballon d’Or.

Also Read: All winners from the 2022 Ballon d’Or Awards

The top contenders for the Ballon d’Or also include the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Rodri, Victor Osimhen, Robert Lewandowski, and Julian Alvarez, among others, who have all had notable performances and made valuable contributions to their respective teams’ successes.

The race for the 2023 Ballon d’Or has ended, with Lionel Messi expected to claim the prestigious award for the eighth time, propelled by his World Cup victory. While Haaland had a career-defining season, various factors like goal droughts and early exits from tournaments may affect his chances of securing the top spot.

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Rushikesh Barje
Rushikesh Barje
A hopeless romantic in love with Manchester United.

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