Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappé or even the 2022 winner Karim Benzema appear in the list of nominees for the 2023 Ballon d'Or, unveiled on Wednesday, while the Spanish world champion selection places five players in the women's list.
On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo, five-time holder of the supreme individual award, exiled to the Saudi club al-Nassr, is not named.
His historic rival, the Argentinian Messi, world champion and hero of the final against France at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, is favorite to win an eighth Ballon d'Or, despite his departure from PSG in the summer. Inter Miami and the American MLS, much less raised than the European championships. 'Leo' Messi has nonetheless piled up the goals and assists since arriving in Florida.
But he is now in competition with the new generation symbolized by the Norwegian stars Erling Haaland (23 years old) and French Kylian Mbappé (24 years old).
The former won the UEFA trophy for the best player of the 2022-2023 season, scoring a whopping 52 goals in all competitions for his first season with Manchester City, including 39 in the Premier League - a record.
The second was the other protagonist in the 2022 World Cup final, scoring the hat-trick to respond to Messi's brace. He scored 36 goals in 42 appearances for PSG last season and started the new season on a high note with five goals already in three Ligue 1 matches.
Among the newcomers to the list, the English prodigy Jude Bellingham, recruited by Real Madrid this summer, his sidekick from the “Three Lions” Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), the young German from Bayern Munich Jamal Musiala or the new striker from PSG Randal Kolo Muani.
The 2023 Ballon d'Or award ceremony will take place on October 30 in Paris.