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Messi, Haaland stand out as 2023 Ballon d’Or award nominees

Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland chief the list of 30 nominees for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award, as announced by France Football magazine. Messi’s nomination comes after being left off the shortlist last year.

If he secures the men’s Ballon d’Or this year, it would mark his eighth win, second only to Cristiano Ronaldo with five wins. In February, Messi also claimed his second Best FIFA Men’s Player award.

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Notably, Ronaldo, currently playing for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, was excluded from the list for the first time since 2003.

The award recipient will be unveiled at a ceremony at the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris on October 30.

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Messi guided Argentina to victory in the 2022 World Cup in December, a significant achievement that had eluded him throughout his 21-year career. At club level, Messi had a mixed year.

While at Paris Saint-Germain, the French side was eliminated from the Champions League at the round-of-16 stage for the second consecutive season. Nonetheless, he contributed to PSG securing their 11th Ligue 1 title.

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This summer, Messi left Paris to join Inter Miami on a free transfer, where he made an immediate impact, assisting the team in winning the Leagues Cup and securing a place in the U.S. Open Cup final.

Meanwhile, Erling Haaland has also received a nomination and could present strong competition for the award. The Norwegian striker notched an impressive 52 goals in 53 games across all competitions as Manchester City clinched the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League titles.

In his debut campaign in England, the 23-year-old broke the Premier League’s single-season scoring record with 36 goals.

Haaland also received several individual accolades for his outstanding performances, including the PFA Player of the Year, the Premier League’s Player of the Season, and Football Writers’ Association’s Men’s Player of the Year.

Unsurprisingly, players from Manchester City and Argentina dominate this year’s list of nominees. Seven players who contributed to City’s treble-winning season are included in the shortlist, along with four Argentine players, including Messi, who played a pivotal role in Argentina’s third World Cup triumph.

Full list of men’s Ballon d’Or nominees:
André Onana – Manchester United/Cameroon
Josko Gvardiol – Manchester City/Croatia
Karim Benzema – Al Ittihad
Jamal Musiala – Bayern Munich/Germany
Mohamed Salah – Liverpool/Egypt
Jude Bellingham – Real Madrid/England
Bukayo Saka – Arsenal/England
Randal Kolo Muani – Paris Saint-Germain/France
Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City/Belgium
Bernardo Silva – Manchester City/Portugal
Emiliano Martínez – Aston Villa/Argentina
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia – Napoli/Georgia
Rúben Dias – Manchester City/Portugal
Nicolo Barella – Inter Milan/Italy
Erling Haaland – Manchester City/Norway
Yassine Bounou – Al Hilal/Morocco
Martin Ødegaard – Arsenal/Norway
Julián Álvarez – Manchester City/Argentina
Ilkay Gündogan – Barcelona/Germany
Vinícius Júnior – Real Madrid/Brazil
Lionel Messi – Inter Miami/Argentina
Rodri – Manchester City/Spain
Lautaro Martínez – Inter Milan/Argentina
Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid/France
Robert Lewandowski – Barcelona/Poland
Kylian Mbappé – Paris Saint-Germain/France
Kim Min-jae – Napoli/South Korea
Victor Osimhen – Napoli/Nigeria
Luka Modric – Real Madrid/Croatia
Harry Kane – Bayern Munich/England

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