Lionel Messi is in contention to win a record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or.
The World Cup winner is vying with ex-Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe and Manchester City striker Erling Haaland for the prestigious award.
Messi’s World Cup triumph has seen him shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or awardGetty
Haaland will give him a good run for his moneyGetty
Messi is looking to become the first player to win the trophy while playing for a side outside of Europe.
It marks a remarkable turnaround for the 36-year-old who wasn’t even included in the original 30-man shortlist last year.
He’s up against a number of top players in the world including England stars Jude Bellingham, who has also been nominated for the Kopa Trophy (an award for the elite under-21 players) and Bukayo Saka.
They’re joined by Harry Kane, who completed his big-money move from Tottenham to Bayern Munich in the summer, too.
There are SEVEN Manchester City stars on the shortlist with Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Josko Gvardiol, Ruben Dias, Julian Alvarez, Rodri and Haaland nominated. Ex-City captain Ilkay Gundogan, who’s now at Barcelona, has also been nominated.
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has made the cut as has new Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana.
There’s also an unexpected nomination for Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez, who along with Messi played a key role in helping Argentina to World Cup glory.
Last year’s winner, Karim Benzema, is also on the list alongside Barcelona hotshot Robert Lewandowski.
Mbappe is eyeing his first ever Ballon d’OrGetty
Ballon d’Or 2023 nominees
Andre Onana (Manchester United, Ajax)
Josko Gvardiol (Manchester City, RB Leipzig)
Karim Benzema (Al Ittihad, Real Madrid)
Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund)
Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt, Paris Saint-Germain)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
Emi Martinez (Aston Villa)
Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona, Manchester City)
Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)
Yassine Bounou (Al Hilal, Sevilla)
Lionel Messi (Inter Miami, Paris Saint-Germain)
Rodri (Manchester City)
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich, Napoli)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Harry Kane (Bayern Munich, Tottenham)
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