Ballon d’Or 2023 to Be Held on Maradona’s Birthday as Messi and Haaland Battle For Award

Ballon d’Or 2023 to Be Held on Maradona’s Birthday as Messi and Haaland Battle For Award

Martin Moses
October 2, 2023 at 6:46 AM
  • It is a little under a month before the winner of the 2023 Ballon d'Or award is announced
  • Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland lead the men with Aitana Bonmati the women's favourite
  • Diego Maradona will be remembered too with the ceremony coinciding with his birthday

The 2023 Ballon d'Or ceremony is inching closer and closer, with uncertainty still building around which way the vote will possibly go.

The list of nominees was unveiled on September 6 with perceived frontrunners, Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland headlining the 30 names of the male players.

Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, World Cup, Diego Maradona, Manchester City, Ballon d'Or, Champions League
The 2023 Ballon d'Or ceremony will be held on October 30. Photo by Kristy Sparow.
Source: Getty Images

Another 30 stars were nominated for the Women's Ballon d'Or with Spain's World Cup-winning hero, Aitana Bonmati understood to be making a beeline for her maiden title.

The likes of Jamal Musiala and Jude Bellingham will battle for the Kopa Trophy while Ederson and Emi Martinez face a group of eight other goalkeepers for the Yashin Trophy.

Ballon d'Or coinciding with Maradona date

It has now emerged that the ceremony, which will be held at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, will be held on the same day as the birthday of legendary Argentine star, Diego Maradona.

Whether it was by design or just mere coincidence, the spectacle could provide a perfect opportunity for the world to reminisce about the Napoli and Barcelona legend on what would have been his 63rd birthday.

Maradona succumbed to a cardiac arrest on November 25, 2020, as reported by the BBC. He is regarded as one of the best players to have ever graced the pitch and led his national side to World Cup glory in 1986.

Since his demise, his former sides have honoured him indirectly, with Napoli winning their first Scudetto last season since the one the Argentine won with them in 1990. Messi then led the nation to World Cup glory last year.

On the back of that triumph in Qatar, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner is angling for an eighth title against Haaland, who won the European treble with Manchester City.

Why Messi will beat Haaland

In a previous report, Sports Brief explained why Messi holds the Ballon d’Or advantage over Haaland in the 2023 vote despite the Man City star and his team winning the treble.

Apart from the FIFA World Cup factor, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner starred in major games compared to the Norwegian’s outings in games like the UEFA Champions League.

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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