Ballon d’Or 2023 Winners | Did They Really Deserve It?
The Ballon d’Or 2023 was the 67th edition of the ceremony, rewarding the best players of the season. Lionel Messi added his name to the list of Ballon d’Or winners 2023 for the record eighth time. However, the question is, did he deserve it? Who were the other contenders, and how close were they to taking home the most prestigious football player award?
List of Ballon d’Or Winners 2023
In addition to the Ballon d’Or, there are several other rewards awarded to the best players of the season. This time, Messi won his eighth Ballon d’Or trophy, beating Haaland in this race, and becoming the only player to win the award with three different clubs.
Other than Messi, the Ballon d’Or Féminin went into the hands of Aitana Bonmati, after winning the continental treble with Barcelona and the World Cup with Spain. Bonmati beat Australia and Chelsea striker Sam Kerr, leaving her in second place. In the 2022/23 season, Aitana played 42 games, scoring 17 goals, and giving out 19 assists. This incredible performance got her on the list of Women’s Ballon d’Or winners.
In other categories, Jude Bellingham got the Kopa Trophy for the best player under 21. A decent interlude to the inevitable Ballon d’Or to come his way soon. Bellingham played 58 games in the season, scoring 16 goals, along with nine assists.
The Yashin trophy for the best-performing goalkeeper went to Emiliano Martinez, mainly because of his performance at the World Cup. At the same time, Vinicius Jr. got the Socrates Award for commitment to charity and social projects. And lastly, Erling Haaland claimed the Ger Muller Trophy for the best striker.
Manchester City got the award the Men’s Club of the Year after winning the FA Cup, Champions League, and the Premier League treble. At the same time, Barcelona won the Women’s Club of the Year award.
Lionel Messi Stats
Messi has long established himself as one of the greatest footballers of all time, so him winning his 8th Ballon d’Or is no surprise. The main reason behind his success this year was winning the long-coveted World Cup with Argentina.
In the 2022/23 season, Messi played 57 games, and scored 34 goals, along with 25 assists. While these stats sound incredible, there were others who had more to their tally. The reason why many were suspicious of Messi’s win was his move to Inter Miami. Lionel is the only player to win this award playing outside of Europe.
Erling Haaland Stats
One of the biggest contenders with his name on the potential Ballon d’Or winners 2023, was Erling Haaland. In addition to his out-of-this-world numbers, Haaland secured the treble with Man City, winning the FA Cup, the Premier League, and the Champions League.
In all games, including friendlies, Haaland scored 60 goals in 63 games in the 2022/23 season. With these numbers alone, he was ahead of Messi to take the 2023 Ballon d’Or winners award. Along with the treble, he came dangerously close, according to the Ballon d’Or power rankings. Many consider it was Halland who was supposed to get the 2023 Ballon d’Or winners award.
Kylian Mbappe Stats
In the race for Ballon d’Or winners was also Kylian Mbappe. The French national thinks the award should have been his, considering his performance. However, compared to the two aforementioned, he still has a long way to go. In the 2022/23 season, Mbappe scored 53 goals, along with 12 assists in 57 games. In the process, he won Ligue 1 with PSG, but his list of trophies stops there.