·8 September 2023
·8 September 2023
GIVEMESPORT VIDEO OF THE DAY
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It’s that time of year again, where the best players in world football get recognised for their individual accomplishments and their contributions to their team's success.
The Ballon d’Or nominations are here, but what sort of chance do the 30 nominees have of leaving Paris on 30th October with the big gold ball? Strap yourselves in, because as we’ve said, there are 30 nominees!
For context, we will be looking at the performances from each player between the date of last year’s Ballon d’Or ceremony and the date this year’s nominees were announced. Let's take a look...
A breakthrough year for the 24-year-old that saw him have a fantastic campaign for Eintracht Frankfurt, earn a place in the French World Cup squad and get a big-money move to PSG. Certainly, one to watch in the future.
An integral part of the Morocco squad that reached the World Cup semi-final, as well as saving a crucial penalty in the shoot-out that led to Sevilla winning their seventh Europa League crown. Now that he's in Saudi Arabia, this might be the only nomination he gets for the foreseeable future.
Bundesliga fans knew all about Gvardiol from his two seasons at RB Leipzig, but the world got to see what he was about during Croatia's run to a bronze medal at the 2022 World Cup. Now that he's at Manchester City and has already hit the ground running, expect higher placings for this young man in the future.
You know it's a stacked line-up when a man who filled the gloves of both Samir Handanović and David De Gea is this low on the list. Onana was a huge part of Inter's memorable season that saw them win the Coppa Italia, the Supercoppa Italiana and reach the final of the UEFA Champions League, and at just 27-years-old he has plenty more bright seasons to come
England fans must be kicking themselves as the man Bayern fans have nicknamed 'Bambi' chose to represent Germany over the Three Lions because he is on fire right now. Scoring the goal to secure Bayern their 11th successive Bundesliga title, and establishing himself as an indispensable member of the starting XI, let's see how far he can climb over the next 12 months.
What a few years this man has had! He broke through in Turkey, was snapped up by Napoli to fill the shoes of Kalidou Koulibaly and ended becoming the best defender in Serie A before moving on to Bayern Munich a year later. Napoli wouldn't have won the Scudetto without him, and Bayern have got a top player on their hands.
It seems that the man who was signed by Real Madrid at the tender age of 16 has finally found a home at Arsenal, and is proving why everyone classed him as a 'wonderkid' for all those years. The Gunners might not have ended last season with any silverware, but that doesn't take away the fact that Ødegaard has firmly established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
An off year for Liverpool as a whole, but not an off year for Mohamed Salah. A third straight season where he scored 30 goals in all competitions, The Egyptian King was a rare bright spot in a season of mixed results for The Reds. He also became the fifth-highest scorer in the club's history, so no wonder Al-Ittihad want to throw £150 Million at him.
The highest placement for a goalkeeper on this list, and he will more than likely either place higher or win the Yashin Trophy for best keeper. Argentina's biggest weakness for years was they didn't have a safe pair of hands between the sticks, so without Martinez and his heroics at the World Cup, they would have left Qatar empty-handed.
It's incredible what a few years can do for someone. From missing a penalty in the final of Euro 2020 (technically 2021) to becoming arguably England's most exciting player to watch. Arsenal wouldn't have made it back in to the Champions League without him, and he even bagged his first hat-trick for the Three Lions in June.
MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 12: Luka Modric of Real Madrid celebrates after their sides victory during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg Two match between Real Madrid and Chelsea FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 12, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Time might be chasing the Croatian playmaker down when it comes to his playing days, but he isn't finished yet. Real Madrid may have only finished the season with a Copa Del Rey, but Luke proved to the world once again how good he is by winning the Bronze Ball at the World Cup, helped Croatia to the Nations League final, and is ready to surpass more milestones this season after his recent contract extension.
Barella has firmly established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world over the past 12 months, proving to be the engine in the Inter Milan midfield that took them to two trophies and a Champions League final. He was voted Serie A Midfielder of the Year, got into the Team of the Year for the fourth season running, and will have the eyes of every big club on him over the next year.
Griezmann has completely rehabbed his career over the past 12 months to an excessive degree. His spell at Barcelona didn't go to plan, and his loan back to Atlético had all sorts of conditions tied to it. But now that he's permanent again, he finished as the club's top scorer and assister for the season, as well as co-top assister at the World Cup. Maybe he was worth €120 million after all.
Last year's winner of the Ballon D'or used the last 12 months to solidify his status as a certified Real Madrid legend. With another two trophies to add to his cabinet in the form of the Copa Del Rey and the Club World Cup (taking his tally to 24), as well as scoring over 30 goals for the fourth time in five seasons, it's safe to say that had Benzema not gotten injured, France might have won the World Cup.
You're going to read the words Manchester City and treble a lot from now on. Apart from one player, no one played more games for The Cityzens than Bernardo Silva. He became more of a utility player over the 2022/23 season, which in theory was the best thing for him as his versatility proved problematic for teams throughout the season. Just look at this performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final for proof.
Another exceptional season for the Argentinian forward which not only saw him score the most goals he's ever scored in a season with 28, but also proved he was a big match player. He scored the winning penalty for Argentina to take them to the World Cup final, he provided the killer blow in the Milan derby during the Champions League semi-final, and given how he's started this season, he is on the hunt for more goals and trophies once again.
Another season has passed and there are another boatload of reasons why Rúben Dias can be considered one of Manchester City's greatest ever signings. Even with the likes of Manuel Akanji, John Stones and Nathan Aké sniffing around for permanent places in the Pep Guardiola's starting line-up, Dias is the standard-bearer in defense for the best team in the world at the time of writing, and will continue to be for many years to come.
Alan Shearer breathed a sigh of relief when Harry Kane decided to leave the Premier League in August 2023 as he probably saw his 'Record Premier League Goalscorer' title slipping away. He surpassed Jimmy Greaves as Tottenham's record goalscorer, he reached 30 goals AGAIN in the Premier League (the second time he's done that) and he's taken to life in the Bundesliga like a duck to water, where he can hopefully win the silverware he rightfully deserves.
Speaking of Englishmen abroad, everyone laughed at Birmingham City when they retired Jude's number 22 shirt in 2020, but they must have seen something that no one else did. Voted the Bundesliga Player of the Season by many different outlets for helping Borussia Dortmund get within touching distance of their first title in 11 years, judging by his first few games at Real Madrid, Bellingham could be one of the favorites this time next year.
When someone like Francesco Totti is calling you 'the best striker in Serie A,' you know you've got something special. Napoli absolutely steamrolled the competition during the 2022/23 season, with Osimhen being the focal point of a side that were arguably the most feared side in Europe for a period of time. Voted the best striker in the league after winning the golden boot, Osimhen is in a position where he can go one to be one of the greatest African players of all time if he continues this run of form.