Lionel Messi leads the 2023 Ballon d’Or shortlist along with a host of Premier League stars… but there’s no space for Cristiano Ronaldo on the list
- The nominations for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award were revealed on Wednesday
- The likes of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe filled the shortlist for the award
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off
The nominations for this year’s Ballon d’Or award have been revealed and there’s a number of Premier League stars included on the shortlist.
The likes of Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi all featured on the list for the prestigious award – which was won by French striker Karim Benzema last year.
Inter Miami star Messi made his first return to the nominations following a surprise omission from the 30-man shortlist for the 2022 award.
However, this time round, Messi has been selected among the world’s elite for the trophy and will be looking to fend off competition to clinch his eighth Ballon d’Or.
Many have speculated that Messi, after sealing a Ligue 1 title with PSG and a World Cup title with Argentina in December, will clinch the trophy for 2023.
Argentina and Inter Miami star Lionel Messi (pictured) was one of the 30-players nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award on Wednesday afternoon
The likes of Erling Haaland (L) and Kylian Mbappe (R) filled out the remaining candidate slots
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However, he will do well to beat Manchester City talisman Haaland to the title after the Norwegian forward enjoyed a scintillating debut campaign in England.
Haaland had six of his City team-mates accompany him on the Ballon d’Or shortlist – with Kevin de Bruyne, Rodri, Ruben Dias, Julian Alvarez, Josko Gvardiol and Bernardo Silva also being rewarded for their efforts.
Only three England internationals – Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham – made the shortlist after impressive displays throughout 2023.
Notably, there was no space for five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo – who missed out on the shortlist for the first time since 2005.
The Portuguese star called an end to his time in European football in December and has spent the entirety of the calendar year with Saudi side Al-Nassr.
The winner of the award will be crowned on October 30th.
Elsewhere, the nominees for the Women’s Ballon d’Or, Yachine Trophy (the best goalkeeper) and Kopa Trophy (best U21 player) were also revealed on Wednesday afternoon.
Josko Gvardiol, Andre Onana, Jamal Musiala, Karim Benzema, Mohamed Salah, Bukayo Saka, Kevin de Bruyne, Jude Bellingham, Randal Kolo Muani, Bernardo Silva, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Emiliano Martinez, Ruben Dias, Erling Haaland, Nicolo Barella, Martin Odegaard, Ilkay Gundogan, Yassine Bounou, Julian Alvarez, Vinicius Jr, Rodri, Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Robert Lewandowski, Kim Min-Jae, Luka Modric, Kylian Mbappe, Victor Osimhen and Harry Kane.
Al-Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo was left off the Ballon d’Or list for the first time since 2005
Bukayo Saka (L) and Harry Kane (R) were two of the three England players to be nominated
The likes of Jude Bellingham, Rasmus Hojlund and Jamal Musiala filled out the Kopa Trophy shortlist, as well as last year’s winner Gavi.
Bellingham was the only England player to make the shortlist, following his tremendous campaign with Borussia Dortmund and his recent Real Madrid move.
Premier League stars Ederson, Emiliano Martinez, Aaron Ramsdale and Andre Onana featured on the Yachine Trophy shortlist.
While the likes of Guro Reiten, Sam Kerr, Millie Bright and Katie McCabe all made it onto the Women’s Ballon d’Or shortlist for 2023.
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