He Golden Ball will be delivered this Monday in a ceremony with little suspense: the Argentine Lionel Messi will win it for the eighth time, establishing a record that seems unattainable, while the Spanish Aitana Bonmatí will take over from his partner and compatriot Alexia Putellas.
Norwegian Erling Haaland, with his hat-trick with City, including the prestigious Champions League and England’s top scorer trophy, and Frenchman Kylian Mbappé, top scorer at the last World Cup, will still have to wait a year. Messi, continues to capitalize on his achievements.
And the calendar has aligned itself with the Argentine calendar. Thanks to the delay of the World Cup to November-December, that competition was not taken into account to award the Golden Ball of 2022, which fell to the Frenchman from Real Madrid Karim Benzemabut yes for 2023.
Messi was the true architect of the Albiceleste lifting its third trophy in Qatar and that impulse alone seems to lead him to achieve the award that is awarded thanks to the votes of journalists from around the world.
His season with Paris Saint-Germain was more than modesta, but the one from Rosario left his mark on memories with what he did in the Middle East, which already helped him win the award last year The Best awarded by FIFA.
Unlike France Football magazine, organizer of the Ballon d’Or, FIFA already took into account the World Cup in Qatar to award its award last year, which benefited Messi. Now, the calendar is on his side again.
At 36 years old, the current Inter Miami player He will thus rise with his eighth rewardafter those of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021. The new award will arrive 14 years after the first, a sign of the longevity of the Rosario footballer.
The five Ballon d’Ors won by the Portuguese are far away Cristiano Ronaldowhich for years disputed the hegemony of world football, but stopped its counter in 2017.
Messi’s victory will also be a message to the new generation, represented better than anyone by Haaland (23 years old) and Mbappé (24), who have deserved to win the award. The former is hurt by his absence from the World Cup since Norway did not qualify, while the latter will have to regret PSG’s early elimination from the Champions League.
If the Argentine’s victory is confirmed, it would be lThis is the first time that the Ballon d’Or has gone to a footballer who does not play in Europesince at the end of last season he left Paris Saint-Germain, where he spent two seasons after a lifetime in Barcelona, to sign for Inter Miami.
Bonmatí, in the footsteps of Putellas
Suspense also has no place in the women’s Ballon d’Or, which will be awarded for the fifth time and which, everything indicates, will fall for the third consecutive year on a Spanish woman, Bonmatí, winner of the Champions League with Barcelona and the World Cup with Spain.
After the two triumphs of his teammate Putellas, who Bonmatí will register his name on a list opened in 2018 by Norwegian Ada Hegerberg and that the following year the American Megan Rapinoe won.
Bonmatí’s favoritism is great, ahead of her compatriot Olga Carmona or the English goalkeeper Mary Earps, in addition to the French Kadidiatou Diani or the Australian Sam Kerr.
The Kopa trophy appears more open, which rewards the best youngster of the year, for which, among others, the British player from Real Madrid is eligible. Jude Bellinghamhis French teammate Eduardo Camavinga, the Spanish players from Barcelona Gavi, Pedri and Alejandro Balde, the German from Bayern Munich Jamal Musiala and the former Dutch Barça youth player Xavi Simons.
For the trophy for best goalkeeper, which is named after the Russian goalkeeper Yashin, the only goalkeeper to have won the Ballon d’Or, Real Madrid’s Belgian Thibaut Courtois is among the candidates to renew the award won last year, although they start with More options are the Argentine Emiliano Martínez, world champion, and the Brazilian Ederson, winner of the Champions League with City.