Lionel Messi was named best player at the Ballon d’Or, beating Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé. Jude Bellingham was honored as the best young player.
Messi received the award on Monday evening (October 30, 2023) at the Theater du Chatelet in Paris. It is his eighth Ballon d’Or. Messi was considered one of the favorites in advance because he had played an outstanding World Cup in Qatar at the end of 2022. With his many goals, Haaland played a key role in Manchester City winning the Champions League for the first time, as well as the championship and the FA Cup.
From a German perspective, national team captain Ilkay Gündogan and Jamal Musiala were among the 30 nominated players. Gündogan reached 14th place, Musiala came 26th.
After the UEFA award, Bonmati also wins the Ballon d’Or
The Spanish world champion Aitana Bonmati won the Ballon d’Or feminine. She had already won the “European Footballer of the Year” election organized by UEFA. Lena Oberdorf came from Germany in 13th place and Alexandra Popp in seventh place.
Footballer Aitana Bonmati (r.) is awarded the Ballon d’Or.
The best club among women was Bonmatis FC Barcelona. The club had the most nominated players, which decides this category.
Bellingham best youth player
The Englishman Jude Bellingham from Real Madrid received the Trophée Kopa for the best youth player. Bellingham, who played for Borussia Dortmund in the 2022/23 season, thanked him, but said: “The most important thing for me is trophies for my teams Real Madrid and England.”
Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala came second and sent congratulations in a video message, saying he had played with Bellingham in England’s youth teams before choosing Germany at national team level.
Vinicius Jr. was named Personality, Martínez was named Goalkeeper of the Year
Bellingham’s teammate Vinicius Jr. won the Socrates Personality of the Year award. This honored his social commitment, but also his fight against racism. Vinicius Jr. is often the victim of racist hostility in Spain.
Goalkeeper of the Year was Argentina’s Emiliano Martínez from Aston Villa, who made crucial saves in his team’s title win at the 2022 World Cup. The German national goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen from FC Barcelona took fifth place in this ranking.
Manchester City’s Erling Haaland from Norway was awarded the Gerd Müller Trophy as top goalscorer for scoring the most goals for club and national team. He won the treble of championship, cup and Champions League with Manchester. His team Manchester City was honored as Team of the Year, having the most nominees.
Criticism of the date – no consideration for the women’s game plan?
Several nominated players were unable to attend the ceremony. England’s Mary Earps, Millie Bright, Rachel Daly and Georgia Stanway were all among the nominees but they play in the Nations League in Belgium on Tuesday. “It would be nice if in the future the ceremony didn’t take place the day before a game so we could enjoy the experience,” said Stanway, who plays for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. Several other players canceled games or came to Paris despite the games.
Bayern Munich’s Georgia Stanway
Sarina Wiegman, England’s head coach, also criticized the fact that additional prizes such as best youth player and best goalkeeper are all reserved for men. Wiegmann said she hopes for a development in this regard.
Ballon d’Or – in coexistence with the FIFA awards
The Ballon d’Or is awarded to players who play for European clubs. The prize is very important, but should not be confused with the election of world footballer, which is awarded by FIFA.