All you need to know before Ballon d'Or ceremony as Messi and Bonmati favourites for award


All you need to know before Ballon d'Or ceremony as Messi and Bonmati favourites for award

Aitana Bonmati and Leo Messi are the favourites for this year's Ballon d'Or award
Aitana Bonmati and Leo Messi are the favourites for this year's Ballon d'Or awardAFP
The 67th edition of the Ballon d'Or gala will be held on Monday. But before the ceremony, what better than to remember, among other things, how the winners are chosen, its criteria, and who the nominees are.

France Football magazine, the creator of this prestigious award, has recently updated its model for selecting winners "to make it more comprehensible", as it pointed out when explaining its change of direction.

Whereas previously it took into account players' performances in a calendar year, the trophy is now based on the calendar of the sporting season and thus assesses the entire 2022-2023 year.

This justifies the inclusion of the World Cup in Qatar 2022, as well as the Women's World Cup, which was played between July and August 2023. However, the start of the 23-24 season, which began in August, was not assessed by the jury.


In order to avoid the absolute dominance of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for 12 consecutive years, the jury did not take into account the players' record and career achievements, but rather the "individual performances" and their "decisive and impressive character". Then came the "collective aspect and the titles won" and "the class of the player and his sense of fair play".

The jury has also been reduced to 100 voters for the men's trophy, with journalists from the top 100 nations in the FIFA rankings (down from 170 in the past), and 50 voters for the women's Ballon d'Or.


A shortlist of 30 male and 20 female players was established by a committee comprising the editorial staffs of France Football and the newspaper L'Equipe, as well as former striker Didier Drogba.

Nominees for the men's Ballon d'Or:

Julian Alvarez (Argentina), Nicolo Barella (Italy), Jude Bellingham (England), Karim Benzema (France), Yassine Bounou (Morocco), Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium), Ruben Dias (Portugal), Antoine Griezmann (France), Ilkay Gundogan (Germany), Josko Gvardiol (Croatia), Erling Haaland (Norway), Harry Kane (England), Kim Min-Jae (South Korea), Randal Kolo-Muani (France), Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Georgia), Robert Lewandoski (Poland), Emiliano Martinez (Argentina), Lautaro Martinez (Argentina), Kylian Mbappe (France), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Luka Modric (Croatia), Jamal Musiala (Germany), Martin Odegaard (Norway), Andre Onana (Cameroon), Victor Osimhen (Nigeria), Rodri (Spain), Bukayo Saka (England), Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Bernardo Silva (Portugal), Vinicius Jr (Brazil).

Women's Ballon d'Or nominees:

Aitana Bonmati (Spain), Millie Bright (England), Linda Caicedo (Colombia), Olga Carmona (Spain), Rachel Daly (England), Debinha (Brazil), Kadidiatou Diani (France), Mary Earps (England), Patricia Guijarro (Spain); Yui Hasegawa (Japan), Amanda Ilestedt (Sweden), Sam Kerr (Australia), Mapi Leon (Spain), Katie McCabe (Ireland), Hinata Miyazawa (Japan), Lena Oberdorf (Germany), Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria), Ewa Pajor (Poland), Salma Paralluelo (Spain), Alexandra Popp (Germany), Hayley Raso (Australia), Alba Redondo (Spain), Guro Reiten (Norway), Wendie Renard (France), Fridolina Rolfo (Sweden), Jill Roord (Netherlands), Khadija Shaw (Jamaica), Sophia Smith (USA), Georgia Stanway (England), Daphne Van Domselaar (Netherlands).


There seems to be little doubt as to who the two favourites to lift the Ballon d'Or are.

Lionel Messi, for his important role as captain of Argentina at the World Cup in Qatar, has every chance of winning the trophy once again and succeeding Karim Benzema.

Spain international Aitana Bonmati, likewise, as the World Cup winners' best player, is also in the running to win the award and take over from Alexia Putellas, who won it in the previous two years.

Other awards

In addition to the men's and women's Ballon d'Or, the gala organised at the Theatre du Chatelet in the centre of Paris offers other awards.

The Kopa trophy will be awarded to the best young player of the season, up to the age of 21. Kylian Mbappe won its first edition in 2018. FC Barcelona's Gavi is the latest winner and a contender to retain it. But the big favourite is England's Jude Bellingham, transferred last European summer from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid, where he has shone since the start of his Madrid adventure.

The Yashin Trophy will crown the best goalkeeper, with a great favourite to succeed Thibaut Courtois being Emiliano Martinez.

The 'Socrates Award', introduced last year, is reserved for players involved in social or charitable projects.

The top scorer also has an award (the Gerd Muller trophy), as does the best club of the season.

The last ten winners

2022: Karim Benzema

 2021, 2019: Lionel Messi

2018: Luka Modric

 2017, 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo

 2015: Lionel Messi

 2014, 2013: Cristiano Ronaldo

Winners since inception

2022, 2021: Alexia Putellas

 2019: Megan Rapinoe

2018: Ada Hegerberg


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