The highly anticipated Ballon d’Or 2023 winner is set to be unveiled at 11:30 PM IST. Despite a 30-man shortlist, the primary contenders for the prestigious award are Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland. Lionel Messi is poised to secure his eighth Ballon d’Or, while Erling Haaland aims to clinch the award after being named UEFA’s best player.Erling Haaland, the Norwegian football sensation, has ascended to the pinnacle of world football. He achieved a remarkable feat by scoring the most goals in a single season in the English Premier League, netting 36 goals in 35 matches. His total of 52 goals contributed significantly to Manchester City’s triumph in the English Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League. Haaland, initially a defensive player, was transformed into a midfield powerhouse by Coach Pep Guardiola and went on to make history in the City jersey.
Lionel Messi’s nomination for the award stemmed from his pivotal role in Argentina’s World Cup victory and his second consecutive Ligue 1 win with PSG. He scored an impressive 40 goals in 39 matches across the Champions League and Ligue 1. In a historic moment, Messi reached the milestone of 1000 matches during a World Cup match against Australia. Leading Argentina to World Cup glory by defeating reigning champions France further solidified his case for the Ballon d’Or.On the women’s side, UEFA winner Aitana Bonmati secured a place in the awards list due to her outstanding performances for Barcelona and Spain in the World Cup. German actress Alexandra Popp also earned recognition as another star on the list.”