The Ballon d’Or is by far the most prestigious individual award in the world of football, with every kid who ever kicked a ball dreaming of getting his hands on the prize one day. But just so it happened that in the last 15 years, we’ve only seen four different players win it. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with seven and five wins respectively, have absolutely dominated football in this period. Only Luka Modric in 2018 and Karim Benzema in 2022 have been able to surpass the duo in the voting, although some say that Robert Lewandowski was unjustifiably robbed of his Ballon d’Or in 2020 when the ceremony was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The full list of candidates for the 2023 Ballon d’Or was announced on September 6 and it includes a few surprises as well as some astonishing omissions. The winner will be announced on October 30.
Full List of Ballon d'Or Betting Odds
There is no bookmaker that offers a comprehensive Ballon d’Or betting list but we've gathered as many nominees as possible. The list does not include the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Luka Modric, Martin Odegaard and 13 others. As far as the 2023 Ballon d’Or odds go, Lionel Messi is the leading favourite with Erling Haaland in close second.
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Lionel Messi is the most distinguished player in the history of the Ballon d’Or, with seven such awards to date. Now, even at 36 years of age, the Argentine is considered the favourite to receive the prize and extend his record to eight!
Of course, Messi’s biggest claim to the 2023 Ballon d’Or is his triumph with Argentina at the 2022 World Cup where he scored seven goals, provided three assists and was named the best player of the tournament. In addition to that, Leo can flaunt his Ligue 1 win with Paris Saint-Germain and 21 goals and 20 assists in 41 club games.
The Argentine has bid farewell to European football and now plays for Inter Miami in the United States, where he’s already recorded a mind-boggling nine goals and one assist in six games. If Messi wins the Ballon d’Or while playing outside of Europe, the GOAT debate will surely be settled forever.
The 2022/23 term was Erling Haaland’s first in the Premier League and the best in his career so far. With 52 goals and nine assists in 53 appearances, the Norwegian played a crucial role in Manchester City’s treble, which also included the first ever Champions League trophy in their history.
Haaland was incredible both in the league (36 goals in 35 matches) and the Champions League (12 goals in 11 matches). His otherworldly numbers in the 2022/23 league campaign meant that Earling set the record for the most goals in a single Premier League season – previously held by Alan Shearer with 34 strikes – and won him the European Golden Shoe.
Haaland have never finished inside the Ballon d’Or top 3, being voted 10th and 11th respectively in the previous two editions. In 2023, though, the striker is almost guaranteed to have a place on the podium.
Rodri’s numbers are less impressive than those of the two Man City players on the list, with him recording four goals and seven assists in 56 games last term. This still remains a very solid showing for somebody playing in the defensive midfielder position, and let’s also remind ourselves that it was Rodri who scored the winning goal in the Champions League final.
But direct goal contributions aside, it is worthless debating the Spaniard’s importance in the Man City structure – Rodri is an indispensable player for Guardiola, and his contribution in the initial build-up stages are as valuable as De Bruyne's killer passes or Haaland's finishing strikes.
Rodri also has one advantage over the other City players on the list – the 2022/23 Nations League trophy he won with Spain. The 27-year-old has never been nominated for the Ballon d’Or before, but this year, he will certainly rank near the top.
Harry Kane’s inclusion on the 30-nominee list is rather surprising. Of course, the Englishman had a solid season on the individual level, as Kane helped a turbulent Tottenham Hotspur side finish 8th in the Premier League thanks to his 30 goals and three assists in 38 matches. Across all competitions, he recorded 32 goals and five assists in 49 games.
However, in terms of collective achievement, his biggest boast is reaching the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals with England. But that within itself is barely enough to justify his inclusion on the 2023 Ballon d’Or list. The English striker may be on the list but he’s unlikely to finish above 15th place in the final voting, really.
Jude Bellingham would’ve definitely been higher up on this list if not for one crucial game from last season – Borussia Dortmund’s final-day draw with Mainz that saw BVB lose the Bundesliga title to Bayern Munich. At 19 years old, Bellingham was a crucial player for Dortmund, captaining the team on certain occasions and recording 14 goals and seven assists in 42 appearances. Jude was an important player for England too, contributing one goal and one assist in their 2022 FIFA World Cup run while playing all matches from the start.
So, in terms of achievements, Bellingham doesn’t quite come close to some of the other names on the list. But his start at Real Madrid with five goals and one assist in four matches suggests that this is not the last time we will see Bellingham among the Ballon d’Or nominees.
First it was Neymar who was expected to break the Messi-Ronaldo dominance, but once it became clear that the Brazilian, for all his talent, lacked ambition, Kylian Mbappe burst on the scene. The Frenchman made his first appearance on the Ballon d’Or nominees list in 2017 when he finished 7th. His highest finish ever came the next year when he was voted 4th following France’s triumph at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
As for the 2023 Ballon d’Or race, Mbappe shares the same club accolades at PSG as his ex-teammate Lionel Messi. Unlike the Argentine, Mbappe has a better personal record with 41 goals and 10 assists in 43 matches for PSG. Kylian was impressive at the 2022 FIFA World Cup too, as he was top goalscorer with eight goals, but the trophy still went to Messi. The same may be true for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.
Unlike the other names on the list, Vinicius Junior does not have a big collective achievement to show off for the 2022/23 season, as Real Madrid failed to win the league or the Champions League, but that does not mean that the winger had a bad year. Quite the opposite, on the individual level, Vini Jr was one of the best and most constant performers last term.
Vinicius finished the season with 21 goals and 20 assists in 55 games, he was an undisputed starter for Carlo Ancelotti and was crucial in Real Madrid's triumphs in the UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and Copa del Rey, registering at least one goal contribution in all three finals.
In the 2022 Ballon d’Or, Vinicius was voted 8th as the award went to his teammate Karim Benzema. As for the 2023 Ballon d’Or odds, the Brazilian ranks higher than any other player at Los Blancos.