Ballon d’Or Power Rankings: May 2023
The Ballon d’Or is the most prestigious individual award in the world of football. It is an annual accolade presented to the best male football player in the world, as voted by a select panel of international journalists, coaches and captains of national teams.
The Ballon d’Or recognizes outstanding achievements, skill and overall performance throughout the season. Winners of the Ballon d’Or are often regarded as the pinnacle of football excellence, with legendary players such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominating the honor for over a decade.
Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan stepped it up in the second half of the season and was in imperious form especially in the run in. The German midfielder produced clutch performances in the home straight and will be sorely missed if he chooses to leave the club as a free agent this summer.
Gundogan could captain Manchester City to their first ever continental treble if they win the FA Cup and Champions League finals against Manchester United and Inter Milan respectively. The 32-year-old has scored nine goals and provided seven assists in 49 appearances across all competitions so far this season.
#7 Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
The breakout star of the 2022-23 season, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has had a wonderful debut campaign at Napoli. ‘Kvaradona’ has been in sublime form for the majority of the season and his contributions have gone a long way towards making Napoli the dominant unit they have been in Italy this term.
The 22-year-old’s form tailed off a bit towards the end of the campaign but he still ended it with 14 goals and 17 assists in 41 appearances in all competitions. Kvaratkshelia also won the Serie A title and is likely to become a regular contender for the Ballon d’Or in the future if he can keep this up.
#6 Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
Robert Lewandowski failed to hit the heights of his 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns this time around. However, Barcelona will be happy to have roped him last summer as his prolific goalscoring ability was crucial to them regaining their place at the top of Spanish football.
Lewandowski’s goals helped fire the Catalans to yet another La Liga title. They also won the Supercopa de Espana this term. The 34-year-old has scored 33 goals and provided seven assists in 44 appearances in all competitions so far this season for Barcelona.
#5 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Kevin De Bruyne has had yet another phenomenal season. He clocked an incredible 28 assists in addition to scoring 10 goals in 47 appearances across all competitions for Manchester City so far this season.
The Belgian midfielder looked as good as ever and was in spectacular form especially in the second half of the season. He has taken one more step towards establishing himself as one of the greatest midfielders of the modern era.
If things go according to plan, De Bruyne will be an intercontinental treble winner at the end of the season. If that happens, there is every chance that the 31-year-old will make the Ballon d’Or podium this year.
#4 Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Victor Osimhen has etched his name into Naples folklore after firing the Partenopei to their first Serie A title in 33 years. Osimhen has burgeoned into one of the finest strikers on the planet and is one of the most sought-after marksmen in the world right now.
His intelligent movement, pace and composed finishing make him a dangerous player to go up against. Osimhen has scored 28 goals and provided five assists in 37 appearances across all competitions for Napoli so far this season. We won’t be surprised if he earns a spot on the Ballon d’Or podum this year.
#3 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
While Paris Saint-Germain‘s elimination from the Champions League in the Round of 16 seems to be the major talking point of their season, it would be criminal to not describe Kylian Mbappe’s campaign as anything short of exceptional.
Mbappe has scored 40 goals and provided nine assists in 41 appearances across all competitions so far this season for PSG. He scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final for France against Argentina but ended up on the losing side. Mbappe also won the Golden Boot at the World Cup.
He is now set to win the Ligue 1 title with PSG. It’d be surprising if Mbappe didn’t end up on the Ballon d’Or podium after the kind of season he has had for both club and country.
#2 Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
As things stand, Lionel Messi missing out on the 2023 Ballon d’Or has become a possibility. He was the pace setter in the first half of the campaign, firing Argentina to World Cup glory and winning the Golden Ball at the competition.
However, despite the great numbers he has put up for Paris Saint-Germain and La Albiceleste, the question of whether or not he has done enough this term domestically remains unanswered.
In 39 appearances across all competitions for PSG so far this season, Messi has scored 20 goal and provided 20 assists.
#1 Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Now, this could really go two ways. It’s going to be very difficult to deny Erling Haaland his maiden Ballon d’Or if he helps Manchester City win the continental treble. As things stand, just two wins separate Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut from this historical achievement.
Haaland has been the centre-piece at Manchester City this season and he has been firing on all cylinders from the start of the season. The Norwegian striker is on course to win his first European Golden Shoe and has already won the Premier League title and is also the top scorer in the league.
Haaland has scored a whopping 52 goals and provided nine assists in 51 appearances across all competitions so far this term for Manchester City.
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