- Legacy Continues: Lionel Messi, the legendary footballer, finds himself on the Ballon d’Or shortlist once again.
- Outstanding Year: Messi’s extraordinary year includes winning the World Cup with Argentina and making a significant impact in Major League Soccer.
- Predicted Success: Oddsmakers heavily favor Messi to secure his eighth Ballon d’Or award.
Lionel Messi’s Remarkable Year
Lionel Messi, already a seven-time Ballon d’Or recipient, stands poised to potentially add another accolade to his remarkable career. The Argentine superstar finds himself among the 30-man shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award, reflecting his exceptional achievements in the world of football.
In the past year, Messi’s journey took him from Paris Saint-Germain, where he secured another league title, to Inter Miami in Major League Soccer, where he made a transformative impact. Winning the World Cup with Argentina in Qatar was undoubtedly the crowning achievement of his illustrious career, solidifying his position as one of the sport’s all-time greats.
Lionel Messi clearly DESERVES to win the Ballon d'Or for 2022/23. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/rV5qTH4ebc
— L/M Football (@lmfootbalI) September 6, 2023
While Messi’s time in Paris may not have been as cherished as his tenure with Barcelona, his contributions were substantial. He secured his second French league title, scoring 16 league goals in 32 games. However, it’s important to note that his Ballon d’Or contention doesn’t rest solely on club form, which was overshadowed by other competitors.
The World Cup triumph in Qatar is the cornerstone of Messi’s bid for the Ballon d’Or. His stellar performance included seven goals and three assists, culminating in a thrilling final victory against France. Scoring twice in the 3-3 draw, he also calmly converted his penalty in the shootout, ending Argentina’s 36-year wait for the World Cup trophy.
Argentina scored 8 goals in World Cup 2014, Lionel Messi was involved in 7 of them 🇦🇷🐐 pic.twitter.com/q4s3S2VLbC
— Trey (@UTDTrey00) September 7, 2023
With numerous La Liga titles, four Champions League victories, a Copa America, and now the World Cup, Messi’s trophy cabinet is unrivaled.
How the Ballon d’Or is Awarded
The Ballon d’Or, one of football’s most prestigious awards, follows a meticulous selection process. France Football, the revered magazine, has overseen the award since 1956. A 30-player shortlist is compiled based on performances from August 1, 2022, to July 31, 2022. Subsequently, 100 journalists from FIFA’s top-100 ranked nations cast their votes, ranking their top five players worldwide during this period. Players earn points based on these rankings, and the individual with the most points claims the Ballon d’Or.
Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t been included in the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist for the first time in 20 years 🤯 pic.twitter.com/nXtS1FKOlX
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 6, 2023
The 30 nominees were unveiled recently, and the award’s winner will be disclosed at a ceremony held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on October 30.
Ballon d’Or Odds
Lionel Messi is the undisputed frontrunner in the race for the Ballon d’Or, according to bookmakers. While Erling Haaland of Manchester City presents formidable competition with 52 goals across all competitions, Messi maintains a commanding lead in the betting odds, as indicated by Bet365:
- Lionel Messi – 1/12
- Erling Haaland – 13/2
- Kevin De Bruyne – 50/1
- Rodri – 50/1
- Vinicius Jr – 50/1
- Kylian Mbappe – 66/1
- Ilkay Gundogan – 66/1
- Karim Benzema – 80/1
- Jude Bellingham – 100/1
- Harry Kane – 100/1
As the Ballon d’Or ceremony approaches, all eyes are on Messi’s potential eighth triumph, a testament to his enduring brilliance on the football pitch.