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.
Among this year’s Ballon d’Or nominees, there are seven Manchester City players, excluding last season’s captain, Ilkay Gundogan.
Notably, Cristiano Ronaldo is absent from the list for the first time since 2003. Other notable omissions include Marcus Rashford, Enzo Fernandez, Rafael Leao, and Federico Valverde.
Considering performances between August 1, 2022, and July 3, 2023, Lionel Messi appears to be the favorite after leading Argentina to victory in the World Cup. The 36-year-old played a crucial role in Qatar, scoring seven goals, including a brace in the final against France, to secure his long-awaited World Cup win.
Messi also scored 21 times in his final season for Paris Saint-Germain as they won Ligue One. But a stunning compilation lasting just less than an hour has been posted to show the Barcelona legend’s unrivalled playmaking and passing ability for PSG and Argentina.
The video, which has racked up nearly 3 million views, does not feature a single one of Messi’s goals and yet it makes for excellent viewing.
Imagine having a 50 MINUTE compilation based on ONE SEASON of purely passing & playmaking without even your 39 goals included.
There is not a single player in the world who comes close to playing the game as complete as Lionel Messi does. https://t.co/Rw4OcUEC65
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) September 6, 2023
There aren’t any clips from Messi’s time at current club Inter Miami, where he’s scored 11 times in as many games and led them to their first ever trophy when they won the Leagues Cup on penalties.
And if Messi does win the gong for the eighth time at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, he will become the first player to receive the prize while not playing in Europe.
But in a recent interview, the 36-year-old has said he isn’t all that bothered about winning the Ballon d’Or again.
“I have said it many times, the Ballon d’Or is very important due to the recognition at an individual level, but I never gave it importance,” Messi admitted.
“The most important thing for me was always the awards at the group level.
“I was lucky to have achieved everything in my career and after the World Cup, I’m thinking about that award much less, my biggest award was that and I’m disguising my moment.
“If it arrives, good, and if not, nothing happens. I was lucky to achieve all my goals in my career and now I have new goals with this club.”
Messi is in action for Argentina against Ecuador and Bolivia in the next week and will miss Inter’s game against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday as a result.