Lewandowski 4th, Mbappe 2nd… first 5 favorites for Ballon d’Or 2023

The Ballon d’Or is the most prestigious individual award in football. It was awarded by the French news magazine “France Football” to the best performing individual of the season.

The winner of the Ballon d’Or is chosen based on a combination of votes from media representatives, national team captains and coaches.

Karim Benzema has secured the coveted award in 2022. The race for the 2023 Ballon d’Or is well and truly on, and the results of the 2022 FIFA World Cup are expected to have a major influence on the outcome.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the five favorites for this year’s Ballon d’Or.

#5 Neymar Jr. (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain)

It is likely that Neymar Jr. the most in-form player in the world in the first two months of the 2022-23 season. The Brazil international seems to have turned back the clock by delivering world-class performances for Paris Saint-Germain week after week.

However, Neymar saw his World Cup dream cut short at the quarter-final stage. He struggled for form and fitness during the tournament, but his numbers for PSG continued to be exemplary.

In 25 appearances in all competitions with the Parisians since the start of the season, Neymar has scored 17 goals and delivered 15 assists.

#4 Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Barcelona)

Real Betis v FC Barcelona - LaLiga Santander

Robert Lewandowski has struggled to find his stride with Poland at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Lewandowski has struggled in what could be his last World Cup, but he is on fire at a club. The 34-year-old joined FC Barcelona from Bayern Munich last summer.

He has shown Barca what has been missing in the attacking sphere for the past two seasons. Lewandowski has been prolific in front of goal and his form has propelled the club to the top of the La Liga table.

Lewandowski has been a serious contender for the Ballon d’Or in recent years and will likely be the same in 2023. In 25 appearances in all competitions for FC Barcelona since the start of the season, the Polish icon has scored 23 goal and provided five assists.

#3 Erling Haaland (Norway/Manchester City)

Manchester City v Arsenal: Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round

Norway’s failure to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup could hamper Erling Haaland’s chances in the race for the 2023 Ballon d’Or. But he is making a big deal in the season servant at his new club Manchester City.

Haaland is a goalscoring machine and he has been successful in the Premier League this season. The 22-year-old has already bagged 31 goals and three assists in 27 appearances in all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s side this season.

If Haaland can win a few major trophies at City this year, he might just win the Ballon d’Or.

#2 Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris Saint-Germain)

Argentina v France: Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

You have to feel sorry for Kylian Mbappé. The 24-year-old scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final but failed to get France through. Mbappe won the Golden Boot of the tournament and has also been in good form for PSG.

He has scored 25 goals and six assists in 26 appearances in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain since the start of the season.

The Frenchman is likely to win several major trophies this season which should boost his chances in the Ballon d’Or race. But the fact that the main contender for the Ballon d’Or is his teammate, Lionel Messi, does not help him.

#1 Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain)

Paris Saint-Germain v Riyadh XI - Winter Tour 2023 Day 2

Lionel Messi is on course to win a record eighth Ballon d’Or. He led Argentina to World Cup glory and won the Golden Ball awarded to the best player of the tournament. Messi has been in superb form, scoring seven goals and providing three assists in the World Cup.

This year he has been in unreal form at PSG. The 35-year-old has scored 14 goals and 14 assists in 23 appearances in all competitions for Christopher Galtier’s side since the start of the season.

If Messi continues this momentum, he will likely climb to the top step of the Ballon d’Or podium.


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