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2023 Balon D’or Nominees Released, Ronaldo Misses Out

In the world of football, the Ballon d’Or is the most coveted individual award, and the list of nominees for the 2023 Golden Ball has just been unveiled. These players have earned their spots based on outstanding performances, not only at the club level but also at the 2022 World Cup.

5 times Balon D’or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo has however been excluded from the list. This could be due to his poor performances at the world cup as well as his move to the Saudi Pro League which others considered as a total downgrade. Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford also missed out as well as Argentina’s and Chelsea’s Enzo Fernandez despite winning the young player of the tournament at the 2022 world cup in Qatar.

Lionel Messi, who led Argentina to victory in Qatar, is in contention for his eighth Ballon d’Or. On the other hand, Erling Haaland’s remarkable season with treble-winners Manchester City has put him in the spotlight. Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Jr. are also in the mix, making it a tough competition.

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The shortlist includes some rising stars like Josko Gvardiol, Jamal Musiala, and Bukayo Saka, who have shown immense potential in their respective clubs. Mohamed Salah, Jude Bellingham, and Kevin De Bruyne have consistently performed at the top level, contributing significantly to their teams.

Karim Benzema, despite facing injury issues, managed to shine with his goal-scoring abilities. Randal Kolo Muani impressed with his performances for Frankfurt, while Khvicha Kvaratskhelia played a crucial role in Napoli’s Scudetto win.

Emi Martinez played a pivotal role in Argentina’s World Cup win, while Ruben Dias showcased his defensive prowess for Manchester City. Nicolo Barella was the driving force behind Inter’s success, and Martin Odegaard had a standout season with Arsenal.

Ilkay Gundogan, at 33, continues to impress with his performances at Barcelona. Julian Alvarez was a key player for Argentina’s World Cup-winning team, and Yassine Bounou’s heroics helped Morocco reach the World Cup quarter-finals.

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Vinicius Jr. emerged as a star for Real Madrid, and Rodri’s versatility made him vital for Manchester City. Antoine Griezmann’s contributions for Atletico Madrid were noteworthy, while Lionel Messi’s World Cup win and Miami debut have been electrifying.

Lautaro Martinez played a crucial role for Inter, and Robert Lewandowski led Barcelona to a La Liga title. Kylian Mbappe’s World Cup heroics and Ligue 1 performance for PSG have put him in contention. Kim Min-Jae’s defensive skills were crucial for Napoli, and Luka Modric, despite slowing down, still delivered masterful performances.

Lastly, Harry Kane had a remarkable season for Bayern Munich, and Victor Osimhen tore through Serie A with impressive goal-scoring feats. These nominees will vie for the ultimate footballing honor at the ceremony in Paris on October 30.

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