As the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony draws ever closer, speculation has emerged that Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) is the favorite to win the award for the eighth time in his career.

The official social media account of the Ballon d’Or announced on September 9 that “44%. Almost ready for the Ballon d’Or,” the official social media account announced.

The Ballon d’Or, which is awarded annually to the world’s best player, is currently preparing for the ceremony. French soccer publication France Football, which organizes the Ballon d’Or, had already announced the 30 finalists on March 7.

Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona), and other world-class players made the list, but the inclusion of South Korean defender Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) was a big surprise.

In his first season with SSC Napoli after joining from Turkkiye Fenerbahçe last season, Kim made 52 appearances, scoring two goals and providing two assists to help Napoli reach the top of Italian Serie A for the first time in 33 years since the 1989/90 season, earning him the honor of being the only Asian player to be named among the 30 finalists for the Ballon d’Or.

France’s L’Equipe outlined the reasoning behind his nomination, saying, “Kim Min-jae was selected as one of the 30 finalists for the Ballon d’Or because he made his predecessor, Kalidou Koulibaly, forget about him with his athleticism in the air and first-time build-ups at Napoli, before joining Bayern Munich this summer.”

Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), who led the Premier League in scoring in the 2021/22 season and finished 11th in last year’s Ballon d’Or voting, the highest position ever for an Asian player.

The 2023 Ballon d’Or race is effectively a two-horse race between the “God of Soccer” Lionel Messi and the “Monster Striker” Elling Holland (Manchester City). First, Holland had a monster season last season, scoring 52 goals in all competitions, including 36 in the Premier League and 12 in the UEFA Champions League.

With Holland as the top scorer in both competitions, City won the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League, completing the first “triple” in the club’s history.

Messi scored 21 goals and provided 20 assists in 41 total appearances for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) last season. Despite having fewer attacking points than Holland, Messi has a huge advantage when it comes to winning the Ballon d’Or: winning the World Cup. 메이저사이트

At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar last November, Messi captained Argentina to a stellar performance in every game, leading his country to its first World Cup title in 36 years. Messi scored seven goals and won his first World Cup title, as well as the Golden Ball, which is awarded to the tournament’s MVP.

Players who dominate at the World Cup get a leg up in that year’s Ballon d’Or voting. Immediately, Croatian legend Luka Modric (Real Madrid), who finished runner-up at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, won the Golden Ball and was named the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner.