• Lionel Messi and a host of other top players have been nominated for 2023 Ballon d’or Award

The 2023 Ballon d’Or 30-man shortlist was released last night, and many still see 7-time winner Lionel Messi as the favourite to win the award this year, after his World Cup heroics with Argentina.

Players Who Deserve To Win The Ballon d'or Ahead Of Lionel Messi
Players Who Deserve To Win The Ballon d’or Ahead Of Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi was instrumental to his country’s third World Cup triumph, but there are players that are just as worthy or even deserve it more than the former Barcelona man.

Players That Should Win The Ballon d’Or over Messi

1 – Kylian Mbappé 

Kylian Mbappé has a legit shout for the prestigious award this year after another impeccable year with France and PSG. The French star scored 29 league goals while providing 6 assists. He also scored 7 times in the Champions League, despite going out in the round of 16. 

Players Who Deserve To Win The Ballon d'or Ahead Of Lionel Messi

Kylian Mbappé carried his form to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and was phenomenal at the tournament. The Frenchman scored 8 times at the tournament, including a hat-trick against Argentina in the final. Mbappé has a good chance of winning the award this year, and if France had beaten Argentina on penalties in Qatar, he probably would have been the obvious choice.

2 – Kevin De Bruyne

The 2023 Ballon d’Or award will not look lost on Manchester City’s talismanic figure in the middle of the park. The on-pitch chief engineer of Manchester City’s treble win.

Players Who Deserve To Win The Ballon d'or Ahead Of Lionel Messi

He had a disappointing World Cup campaign with a failing Belgium side, but De Bruyne was a beast for Manchester City. The 32-year-old assisted 30 goals for City last season, and he also scored 10 in 49 appearances for his side. 

3 – Erling Haaland

The Norwegian was the best goalscorer in the world for the whole of last season. He fired Manchester City to new heights with his 52 goals and 9 assists in all competitions.

He was not at the World Cup, and that might not work in his favour, but his club efforts alone and the trophies he won with Manchester City are enough to earn him the most prestigious individual award in football. 

Lionel Messi had a fantastic 7-game run at the biggest sporting event in the world, no one can take his achievements in Qatar away from him, but there were other players who were consistent over a longer period than he was during the entirety of last season. If Messi wins, he deserves it, but the players above also deserve it, and some deserve it more than the 7-time winner.