Bloomberg Línea — Four Argentine soccer players top the list of 30 nominees for this year’s Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) award, making it the dominant nationality among players, while Manchester City is the club with the largest number of players nominated, with eight nominees.
The annual award, presented by French magazine France Football since 1956, is considered the sport’s most prestigious, and this year looks likely to go to an Argentine player, with four nominees from the South American country on the list: Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), Julián Álvarez (Manchester City), Lautaro Martínez (Inter) and Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa).
The Ballon d’Or award honors the male player deemed to have performed the best over the previous year, based on voting by football journalists. It was originally only awarded to players from Europe and was also known as the European Footballer of the Year award. In 1995, the Ballon d’Or was expanded to include all players from any origin that have been active at European clubs
Until 2021, the Ballon d’Or was awarded based on player performance during the calendar year. Since 2022, jurors take into account the previous season.
A win for Messi, who moved to MLS team Inter Miami earlier this year, would be his eighth, as the player with the highest number of wins, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the Ballon d’Or on five occasions. Messi is also the player with the highest number of consecutive wins, having won four years in a row, between 2009 and 2012.
It’s been a good year for Messi, winning the FIFA World Cup in Qatar with Argentina, in which he scored seven goals and laid on three assists. He also picked up another Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain before making the love to MLS with Inter Miami.
But he faces competition from Norway’s Erling Haaland, who plays for Manchester City and scored 52 goals in 53 appearances across all competitions, with the club winning a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble last season.
The award ceremony will be held on October 30.
The full list is as follows, with each player’s club and nationality:
1. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami, Argentina)
2. Julián Álvarez (Manchester City, Argentina)
3. Lautaro Martínez (Inter, Argentina)
4. Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa, Argentina)
5. Erling Haaland (Manchester City, Norway)
6. Kylian Mbappé (PSG, France)
7. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid, Brazil)
8. Robert Lewandowski (FC Barcelona, Poland)
9. Harry Kane (Tottenham-Bayern Múnich, England)
10. Victor Osimhen (Napoli, Nigeria)
11. Luka Modrić (Real Madrid, Croatia)
12. Kim Min-Jae (Napoli-Bayern Múnich, South Korea)
13. Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig-Manchester City, Croatia)
14. André Onana (Inter-Manchester United, Cameroon)
15. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid-Al Ittihad, France)
16. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt)
17. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Múnich, Germany)
18. Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund-Real Madrid, England)
19. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal, England)
20. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City, Belgium)
21. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City, Portugal)
22. Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt-PSG, France)
23. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli, Georgia)
24. Rúben Dias (Manchester City, Portugal)
25. Nicolo Barella (Inter, Italy)
26. Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City-FC Barcelona, Germany)
27. Martin Odegaard (Arsenal, Norway)
28. Yassine Bounou (Sevilla-Al Hilal, Morocco)
29. Rodri (Manchester City, Spain)
30. Antoine Griezmann (Atlético de Madrid, France)