Ballon d’Or 2023 Odds: Can Erling Haaland beat Lionel Messi to individual glory?
Not content with smashing records for fun and making a mockery of opposition defenders, Erling Haaland’s outrageous individual exploits have catapulted the Man City goal-machine into the Ballon d’Or 2023 conversation.
Haaland scored his 51st goal of a simply extraordinary season in the win against West Ham on Wednesday, which saw him set a new single season Premier League goalscoring record (35 goals).
Below we run through the early contenders to win the coveted prize and whether the Premier League history maker can get his mitts on the annual award.
Ballon d'Or 2023 Odds
Lionel Messi already has seven Ballon d’Or’s shining brightly in his jam-packed trophy cabinet, two more than Cristiano Ronaldo and more than double the tally of any other player in history.
Last victorious in 2021, Messi was perhaps unfortunate to miss out in 2022 given that the award was dished out to Karim Benzema two months before Messi skippered Argentina to World Cup glory.
Not only did Messi finally get his hands on the prestigious trophy, he was named Player of the Tournament and scored three times in the final (including his converted penalty in the shoot-out).
Now, although these momentous achievements happened in 2022, they will factor in the 2023 reckoning as the timeline for this year's accolade has been altered from August 2022 through to July 2023.
This is reflected in the latest betting with Messi odds-on across the board, however, while he was as short as 1/6 in March, he’s now been reeled back slightly to 4/9 to claim that eighth prize.
When it comes to club level, it must be said that PSG have disappointed. They were no match for Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16 and lost to Marseille in the French Cup. They do remain on course to win Ligue 1 - just about - with Messi contributing 15 goals and 15 assists to date.
The Argentine, who has scored 20 goals and assisted 19 in all competitions this season, has just been suspended by the club because of his unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, which has plunged his future at the club into severe doubt.
A summer return to Barcelona looks increasingly likely.
Lionel Messi Ballon d'Or Odds
The gradual reduction in Messi’s price over the last few months is down to the simply absurd Haaland - out at 10/1 as recently as February - whose Ballon d’Or price has been whittled to just 7/4 (Paddy Power).
Haaland’s 2022/23 season has been nothing short of sensational.
At the time of writing, the Norwegian has accumulated 51 Goals; 35 in the Premier league; 12 in the Champions League; three in FA Cup; and one EFL Cup. Silly numbers.
The Premier League Golden Boot is all but won, as is the Champions League equivalent.
Collectively, his Man City side are chasing a famous Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup treble, with bookmakers’ pricing Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut at just 5/4 to scoop all three trophies.
Messi winning the World Cup will be extremely difficult to surpass, but should Haaland win the treble and continue on his prolific goalscoring journey through the UK and abroad then there’s a real chance he could be inserted as the new frontrunner for Ballon d’Or glory.
Erling Haaland Ballon d'Or Odds
Kevin De Bruyne
There’s a pretty hefty gap between Messi-Haaland and the chasing pack, meaning it would be a colossal shock if neither claimed the award.
Yet Haaland’s teammate Kevin De Bruyne is still well worthy of a mention given that he is playing an integral role in City’s pursuit of the treble.
He was simply outstanding in the recent 4-1 demolition of title rivals Arsenal in which he bagged a brace and conjured up his 16th league assist of the season.
In truth, it’s going to take a Herculean effort for City’s key cog to wrestle his way above Messi or Haaland in the Ballon d’Or pecking order, reflected in his 33/1 price across the board.
Kevin De Bruyne Ballon d'Or Odds
Over in Spain, Vinicius Junior is also priced at 33/1.
The Brazilian is currently attempting to win his second successive Champions League crown, a competition in which he’s flourished this season; accumulating 11 goal involvements in 10 matches.
In fact, he has 42 goal involvements in 49 games in all competitions this term (22 goals and 20 assists).
Vinicius scored three times in Real Madrid’s surge to Club World Cup glory earlier in 2023. Unlike Messi, Haaland and De Bruyne he’s unable to win a domestic league title this term, however this weekend he does have the opportunity to lift the Copa del Rey trophy.