Will it be Messi or Erling Haaland: Here is the full list of Ballon D’or nominees as Cristiano misses out

September 7, 2023

France Football yesterday released the 30 man shortlist for the most prestigious individual award, the Ballon D’or. Argentine and Inter Miami captain Lionel Messi looks the favorite to land a record extending 8th golden ball although he faces tough competition from Manchester City and Norwegian forward Erling Haaland.

Meanwhile Portugal footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo who has won it 5 times wasn’t shortlisted after a horrible last season.

Ronaldo fell out with United’s hierarchy before getting kicked out of the club. He went on to have the worst World Cup tournament where he netted just one goal in the groupstages, a penalty against Ghana.

The former Real Madrid man holds the record for the most nominations at 18 times. This was the first time since 2003 that the 5 time Ballon D’or winner missed out on the nominations.

Meanwhile Messi who bagged his 16th nomination had one of the best years of his career. He secured Argentina’s third World Cup since 1986.

The ex Barcelona player was the best player in the tournament and second highest goalscorer behind France’s Kylian Mbappe.

Messi also seemed to have picked up his form in the Ligue 1 where he netted 16 goals and 16 assists for the Parisiens.

On the other hand, Halaand was the goal machine for Pep Guardiola’s treble winning side. He won the UCL and EPL golden shoes including the European golden boot.

Halaand also broke and set several records. It will therefore be a tight race between the old guard (Messi) and new guard (Halaand).