The 2023 Ballon d’Or nominees were revealed on Wednesday, featuring a list of 30 players. However, there were four notable absentees.
Lionel Messi, who is pursuing his eighth Ballon d’Or title, and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland headline the candidates for this prestigious individual award.
Among the nominees are England’s Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham, as well as Kylian Mbappé from Paris Saint-Germain and Kevin De Bruyne from Manchester City.
The winner of the 2023 Ballon d’Or will be announced on October 30th in Paris.
The Ballon d’Or list for 2023, compiled by France Football magazine, did not include some notable top performers from the previous season.
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford was notably absent from the list, despite his impressive tally of 30 goals and 11 assists during the 2022/23 campaign. He also made a significant impact for England in the 2022 World Cup, scoring three goals in the tournament.
Additionally, Chelsea midfielder Enzo Fernandez was not nominated, despite receiving the Best Young Player Award at the previous year’s World Cup.
There’s also no spot for AC Milan winger Rafael Leao and Real Madrid man Fede Valverde, who both had stellar campaigns last season.
The Portuguese international enjoyed the best term of his career last season as he scored 16 goals in all competitions for Milan.
The Uruguayan also delivered the best scoring return of his career last season, scoring 12 goals as he starred in midfield for the Spanish giants.
With all that being said, though, Rashford, Fernandez, Leao and Valverde WON’T be in the running to win the 2023 Ballon d’Or award.