Even if the Ballon d'Or won't be awarded for nearly 12 more months, everybody is already discussing who could win it in the fall of 2023. PSG will have at least two contenders in the top-3 finalists but... who will be the ultimate winner?
After going against each other in a marvelous World Cup final for the ages, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe are already leading the way to be crowned as the best player in world football next October.
Or, at the very least, the Ballon d'Or winner, whatever meaning you want to give it.
It doesn't take a genius to know that both Messi and Mbappe will be there at the podium when the final announcement is made. Actually, they could probably sit the remainder of the season and they would still make it.
That is, of course, because of the stage-altering presence of an international tournament--let alone it being the freaking World Cup--in the middle of the calendar year spanning from the handing of the latest Ballon d'Or to the next award ceremony.
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe will battle for the 2023 Ballon d'Or, but anybody could end up winning it.
After winning his first World Cup and the third in Argentina's history, Lionel Messi will enter the 2023 calendar year as the leading candidate to lift the next Ballon d'Or.
Messi has already won the Ballon d'Or seven times, by far the most in the history of the prestigious accolade. Another one will turn La Pulga into the absolute GOAT of the sport, just in case anybody still had any doubt about that being the case.
Betfair recently updated the odds for the upcoming winner of the Ballon d'Or, pricing Messi at 5/6 to win the award for the best player of the World.
Not only did Messi win the World Cup, but he also was named the best player of the tournament. Mbappe, who finished his run with France second in the competition, bagged 8 goals and earned top-goalscorer accolades in Qatar.
As Betfair has it, Mbappe is second only to Messi in the run for the Ballon d'Or award entering 2023, priced at 9/4.
The man wrapping up the top 3, at the time of this writing, is Manchester City striker and World Cup absentee Erling Haaland (4/1). Haaland has been ridiculous playing under Pep Guardiola and scoring 29 goals in 24 games in all competitions to date.
Next in line are Neymar (7/1), reigning champion Karim Benzema and Kevin De Bruyne (both 8/1), Robert Lewandowski (12/1), and Harry Kane, Vinicius Junior, and Mohamed Salah (all tied at 20/1).