The debate over who will win the prestigious Ballon d’Or this year continues this month as the season draws close.
The award is given to the best male football player in the world. It recognises the achievement of players on the field and celebrates their contributions to their teams.
With just a few games left this season, we look at the top ten in the Ballon d’Or Power Rankings for May 2023.
#10: Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)
Manchester City’s captain Ilkay Gundogan has been impressive this season. But his importance to the team has been heightened in the last few weeks as he has contributed goals and assists at the crucial stage of the season to ensure that City won the Premier League and booked their place in the Champions League final.
#9: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
Bellingham could have been higher up the list if he had maintained his remarkable output a few months ago. But the youngster remains in the top ten as his contribution is helping Dortmund towards an unlikely Bundesliga title.
The Black and Yellows are sitting top of the league table with one game to go and can secure the title if they win Cologne on Sunday. Bellingham has been instrumental in leading BVB to the point with his 14 goals and seven assists in 42 appearances in all competitions, showing his importance to the team.
#8 Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
Arguably the best winger in the world, Vinicius deserves to be in this conversation.
Despite not being able to lead Madrid to the Champions League final or the La Liga title win, what a season he is having. But the Brazilian has won the UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup, and Copa del Rey with Real Madrid this season.
He has established himself as one of the best players in the world and will potentially win the Ballon d’Or in the future if he continues on this trajectory.
Vinicius has scored 23 goals and provided 21 assists in 54 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid this season.
#7 Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
Another excellent winger, Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, is surely the season’s breakout star.
The Georgian has had a great debut campaign at Napoli and has been in sublime form for most of the season.
His contributions have helped in making Napoli the dominant force they have been in Italy, and he has been nicknamed ‘Kvaradona’ by the Napoli fans for his skills and trickery, which led them to the Scudetto.
The 22-year-old scored 14 goals and provided 17 assists in 41 appearances in all competitions.
#6 Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
Lewandowski will probably go down as the best player not to win the Ballon d’Or trophy in his lifetime after coming close on two occasions in his last seasons at Bayern Munich.
Since his move to Barcelona, he has continued his remarkable goalscoring form with 33 goals and provided seven assists in 44 appearances in all competitions so far this season for Barcelona.
Yet, his numbers will not be enough to win him the Ballon d’Or or put him among the top three.
#5 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Is there a better midfielder in the world right now than Kelvin de Bruyne?
The Belgian maestro has established himself as one of the greatest midfielders of the modern era, with his vision and creativity driving City towards a historic treble.
De Bruyne has ten goals and has recorded an incredible 28 assists in 47 appearances across all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s side this season.
If things go according to plan for him and Pep Guardiola’s side, there is every chance the 31-year-old Belgium international will make the Ballon d’Or podium this year.
#4 Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Osimhen certainly deserves to be named among the very best players in the world this season.
The Nigerian has etched his name into Naples folklore for firing Napoli to their first Scudetto in 33 years. His eye for the goal, intelligent movement and pace has made him a dangerous player to go up against and has attracted the interest of the biggest clubs in the world.
He could be on the move away from Naples this summer, but his 28 goals and five assists in 37 appearances across all competitions for the Partenopei puts him among the top five in the Ballon d’Or ranking.
#3 Kylain Mbappe (PSG)
Despite missing out on two of the biggest trophies he had aimed for this season, Kylian Mbappe’s season has been nothing short of exceptional.
The Frenchman may not have won the World Cup in Qatar, with France finishing second, but he was one of the best players in the tournament as he won the top sorcerer award. He could not lead PSG to Champions League glory, but his numbers are impressive.
The PSG attacker has scored 40 goals and provided nine assists in 41 appearances across all competitions for Les Parisians this season.
Mbappe is set to win the Ligue 1 title with PSG, so it would not be surprising if he ends up on the Ballon d’Or podium after the kind of season he has had for both club and country.
#2 Lionel Messi (PSG)
After leading Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar late last year, Lionel Messi was the bookies’ favourite for his eighth Ballon d’Or trophy. Not only did he win the World Cup, he also won the Golden Ball at the competition.
But his chances have dwindled following a muted second half of the season with PSG. Although he has great numbers for the Paris-based club, whether he has done enough this term domestically still needs to be answered.
The 35-year-old scored 20 goals and provided 20 assists in 39 appearances across all competitions for PSG this season.
#1 Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
There is arguably no better player in the world this season than Manchester City hitman Erling Haaland.
The Norwegian is a force of nature, making the Premier League look like the proverbial farmers league. Not only that, he has also taken the Champions League by storm and is spearheading City’s quest for a historic treble.
Haaland is on course to win his first European Golden Shoe, as he has 36 goals for City in the league. The 22-year-old has scored a whopping 52 goals and provided nine assists in 51 appearances across all competitions this term for Manchester City.
There is no denying that it will be tough to ignore Haaland for the Ballon d’Or award.