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Soccer News of Tuesday, 17 October 2023


Ballon d’Or 2023: Lionel Messi leads Erling Haaland in fan vote, Bonmati tops women’s list

Erling Haaland & Lionel Messi Erling Haaland & Lionel Messi

With less than two weeks to go to the 2023 Ballon d'Or ceremony, Lionel Messi has taken an overwhelming lead in the fan vote organised by France Football.

France Football, a magazine owned by L'Equipe, is often responsible for dishing out the most lucrative individual award in football's history. Messi will be gunning for a record-extending eighth title.

The Argentine will also be seeking to become the first player stationed in Major League Soccer to win the award after moving to Inter Miami in January. His exploits with his national team, Argentina, at the Qatar World Cup last year has put him in good standing ahead of the October 30 vote.

His main competition is Erling Haaland, whose 52 goals in 53 appearances in his debut season in England helped Manchester City to the treble, including a maiden Champions League title. The Norwegian striker is seeking to claim his first gong, aged 23 years old.

Ballon d'Or 2023 fan vote

As noted on L'Euipe's website, Messi has garnered close to half of the votes by fans, with the Argentine having 48.9% of the total votes cast. The site does not indicate what percentages other competitors have.

In the women's vote, Spain's Aitana Bonmati is the presumed leader, with 33.3% at the time of writing. Bonmati led Barcelona to the Champions League before winning the World Cup with Spain.

Jude Bellingham's early season form with Real Madrid has put him in good standing to walk away with the Kopa Trophy. The England international has 42.7% of the votes so far.

Aston Villa's Emi Martinez leads the Yachine Trophy race with 23% in what is expected to be a tight race.

How Ballon d'Or process works

While the vote will not necessarily be used to determine the final winner, it gives a prelude of how it is likely to go when the who's who in football congregate at the Theatre du Chatelet.

One common question is how the winner is always arrived at. Who chooses the nominees and the eventual winner? There have been some controversial Ballon d'Or calls in history where fans were divided on the voting process.

Ahead of the expected 2023 battle between Messi and the treble-winning Haaland, Sports Brief took a look at how the Ballon d'Or process works, from the nomination stages to the eventual naming of the winner.