5. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City)
Kevin De Bruyne is arguably Manchester City’s most influential player in the Pep Guardiola era. He scored 10 goals and provided 31 assists in 49 appearances in all competitions for The Citizens in the 2022/23 season. In particular, De Bruyne scored some extremely important goals (like the Champions League Semi-final against Real Madrid).
However, the Belgian midfielder did not have impressive achievements with the Belgian team. The British team only stopped in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup.
4. Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris Saint-Germain)
If he can help France win the 2022 World Cup championship, it is likely that this year’s Golden Ball will belong to Mbappe. Unfortunately, that scenario did not happen. His incredible hat-trick against Argentina only earned him the title of “Top scorer”.
In 43 appearances in all competitions for PSG last season, Mbappe scored 41 goals and had 10 successful passes for teammates. Mbappe’s brilliant form helped PSG win Ligue I last season, with a gap of exactly 1 point compared to Lens.
3. Rodri (Spain/Man City)
Rodri was an irreplaceable pillar in Man City’s midfield last season. His contributions often go unnoticed by the media because defensive midfielders do not have as good parameters as attacking players.
However, in the most important match of the season, it was Rodri who scored the only goal to help Man City defeat Inter Milan in the Champions League final.
Recently, Man City fans felt the fear of losing Rodri when he received a red card against Nottingham Forest and was banned from playing 3 matches. From September 30 to October 8, Man City lost three consecutive away matches while Rodri had to be a spectator.
2. Erling Haaland (Norway/Man City)
Another Man City player who can achieve high rankings at this year’s Golden Ball awards ceremony is Haaland. He was Pep’s scoring machine last season with 52 goals, along with 9 assists after 53 appearances in all competitions.
However, not being able to participate in the 2022 World Cup and not having good performance in important matches may cause him to miss out on the Golden Ball title this year.
1. Lionel Messi (Argentina/PSG, Inter Miami)
Of course no one will have an opinion if Messi wins the Golden Ball this time. He burned his heart out at the World Cup in Qatar to bring Argentina a prestigious gold trophy, something they haven’t had since 1986.
Messi scored 7 goals and made 3 assists in 8 appearances at the 2022 World Cup, and also won the title of “Best Player of the tournament”.
His performance in the Paris Saint-Germain shirt was a bit up and down, but he still managed to score 21 goals and make 20 assists in 41 appearances. This is most likely the 8th time Messi has been honored at the Golden Ball awards ceremony.
Ngoa Long | 23:35 October 26, 2023