How Ballon d’Or Voting Works Ahead of Messi vs. Haaland Battle for 2023 Crown

How Ballon d’Or Voting Works Ahead of Messi vs. Haaland Battle for 2023 Crown

Martin Moses
October 30, 2023 at 6:57 AM
  • The Ballon d'Or award has at times courted controversy with certain winners
  • The process begins with a nomination process before landing on the recipient
  • Lionel Messi is eyeing his eighth title amid closest competitor Erling Haaland

The Ballon d'Or is arguably the most impressive individual award in football, reserved for the creme de la creme of the sport; a privilege that only a few footballers have had in their careers.

Lionel Messi is the record holder, having garnered seven titles, two more than his arch-rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Having won the World Cup with Argentina last year, one gets the feeling that another title might be on its way for the Argentine.

Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, World Cup, Manchester City, Ballon d'Or, Champions League
Lionel Messi poses on stage after winning his sixth Ballon d'Or in 2019. Photo by Kristy Sparow,
Source: Getty Images

One common question is how the whole process works. Who chooses the nominees and the eventual winner? There have been some controversial Ballon d'Or calls in history where fans were divided on the voting process.

Ahead of the expected 2023 battle between Messi and the treble-winning Erling Haaland, Sports Brief takes a look at the awards system up until its culmination in a colourful gala in Paris.

Change in Ballon d'Or rules

The Ballon d'Or rules were altered in 2021, with a significant change being effected after Messi won his seventh title. The award would no longer consider the achievements inside a calendar year but would adopt a season-to-season format.

Subsequently, editors from L'equipe, France's most decorated magazine, came up with a 30-man shortlist.

As 90Min reports, this year's shortlist will be unveiled on September 6 before the final ceremony on October 30. From 2022, the editors were joined by other specialists including the legendary Didier Drogba.

Apart from Messi and Haaland, the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Vinicius Junior, and Kylian Mbappe are expected to feature among the nominees for this year's Ballon d'Or award.

Ballon d'Or point system

From the pool of 30 players, a group of international journalists and captains from FIFA's top-ranked 100 nations then choose their top five, with each vote collecting different points based on their position.

For example: a number one pick will get 6 points; number 2 will get 4 points; number 3 will get 3 points; number 4 will get two points, and number 5 will get a point, and so on.

At the end of the voting, the player with the most points will be declared the winner.

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Barcelona legend's Ballon d'Or favourites

Sports Brief also reported on a Barcelona legend snubbing Messi for Ballon d'Or 2023, by omitting the Argentine from his list of preferred winners.

The veteran is highly expected to challenge for a record-extending eighth title at this year's awards after guiding his nation to FIFA World Cup victory.

However, Patrick Kluivert believes three other players deserve the 2023 individual gong more than Barcelona's most decorated player in club history.

Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
Lionel MessiErling Haaland