Ballon d'Or Day: Messi To Extend Record, Haaland To Make History?

Ballon d'Or Day: Messi To Extend Record, Haaland To Make History?
The 2023 Ballon d'Or winner will be announced on Monday night, with Lionel Messi considered the outright favourite. Erling Haaland, meanwhile, could make history should he get his hands on the prestigious award.

The organisers of the individual prize, France Football, will host the ceremony in Paris, and according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Inter Miami superstar Messi is tipped to claim the accolade for a record-extending eighth time, after winning his most recent Ballon d'Or in 2021 following Argentina's 2021 Copa America triumph in Brazil.

This time, the former Barcelona forward will again be expected to scoop the award after what he achieved on the international stage, with the 36-year-old having famously helped inspire his country to FIFA World Cup glory in Qatar last December. The MLS-based star has Haaland to compete with, however, after the Norwegian striker scored 52 goals as Manchester City claimed a remarkable treble in the 2022/23 campaign.

If he does claim the prize, the former Borussia Dortmund forward will become the first Premier League player to win the Ballon d'Or since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008.

Many believe the 23-year-old deserves the Ballon d'Or for the impact he had in his debut season in England, although it is worth remembering the winner will have been voted for by 100 journalists from around the world.

Furthermore, the criteria today is said to be based more on individual performances than what the player achieves collectively, as per a host of changes made by France Football in March 2022.

Stars such as Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe and City's Rodri are also likely to rank high in the final standing this year after they were named among the 30 nominees in contention for the accolade in September. 
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