Messi and Haaland: Top Competitors for the Ballon d’Or

Messi And Haaland: Top Competitors For The Ballon D'or

Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland are the frontrunners for this year’s men’s Ballon d’Or, while Aitana Bonmati, a star of the Spanish World Cup team, leads the list of nominees for the women’s prize, as announced on Wednesday.

Messi, who recently made a move from Paris Saint-Germain to Inter Miami, has a strong chance of securing his eighth Ballon d’Or triumph after guiding Argentina to World Cup victory in Qatar last year. Haaland, with his impressive goal-scoring record of 52 goals in 53 games, could be his main rival for the prestigious award. Haaland played a pivotal role in Manchester City’s impressive treble triumph, conquering the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup last season.

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Just last week, Haaland was named the UEFA Player of the Year for the previous season. Other notable contenders among the 30 nominees include PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Haaland’s Manchester City teammate Kevin De Bruyne. The winner of the Ballon d’Or will be revealed at a ceremony in Paris on October 30. Karim Benzema, who parted ways with Real Madrid after 14 years to join Saudi club Al-Ittihad, is also in the running.

Meanwhile, Aitana Bonmati, recipient of the UEFA Women’s Player award, emerges as the favorite for the women’s Ballon d’Or following an outstanding performance in Spain’s successful World Cup campaign in Sydney last month. Bonmati played a vital role as Barcelona clinched the Champions League title and will strive to follow in the footsteps of her club and national teammate, Alexia Putellas, who won the award for the past two years.

Unfortunately, Putellas is not nominated this time due to limited playing time for Barcelona last season owing to a severe knee injury that kept her sidelined for nine months. Alongside Bonmati, three other members of Spain’s World Cup-winning squad, Olga Carmona, Salma Paralluelo, and Alba Redondo, are also nominated.

Patricia Guijarro and Mapi Leon, both from Barcelona, are named among the nominees as well. Despite their absence from the World Cup, they still earn recognition. Last year, they joined a group of 15 players who publicly proclaimed their refusal to play for Spain, protesting against the Spanish federation and coach Jorge Vilda. Other notable nominees include Sam Kerr from Chelsea and Australia, as well as Mary Earps, the goalkeeper for the England national team.

The Ballon d’Or announcements will take place on October 30 in Paris.

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