The nominees for the 2023 France Football award are being revealed on Wednesday, with Messi the favourite to win the gong once again.
Karim Benzema picked up the prize for 2022 after a stunning year for Real Madrid and Messi wasn’t even in the final 30 after a difficult start to life at Paris Saint-Germain.
But the period for the 2023 Ballon d’Or is between August 1 2022 and July 31, which looks set to work brilliantly in Messi’s favour.
The Barcelona legend finished 2022 by finally guiding Argentina to a first World Cup since 1986, winning the Golden Ball after scoring seven goals, including a brace in the thrilling final against France.
He truly completed football and has since been running the show across the pond with Inter Miami, scoring 11 goals in as many games and firing them to the Leagues Cup.
Messi is the frontrunner for the prize but faces strong competition from Erling Haaland, who smashed in 52 goals in his debut, treble-winning season at Manchester City.
46 different stars have been crowned the best player in the world, but if Messi does come out on top in the voting, he will become the first outside of Europe to win the Ballon d’Or.
He is still eligible because he was a Paris Saint-Germain player during the necessary period.
Initially the award was only handed out to European players but in 1995 the rule was changed to include any players active in Europe.