Inter Miami's Lionel Messi nominated for Ballon d'Or 2023


Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami CF waves to the fans after a draw during a match between Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium on August 30, 2023 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Inter Miami CF superstar Lionel Messi is one step closer to an eighth Ballon d'Or award.

The Argentine forward was part of the 30-player shortlist announced Wednesday in advance of the award being granted Oct. 30 in Paris. The annual award will recognize the world's best male soccer player in the 2022–23 season – potentially making Messi the first active MLS winner.

Messi, whose seven Ballon d'Or awards are two more than his closest competitor (Cristiano Ronaldo; five), won a much-coveted World Cup title last December with La Albiceleste. He then formally signed with Inter Miami in mid-July after two years at French side Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi has been sensational since joining Inter Miami midsummer alongside ex-FC Barcelona teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets. He has 11g/8a in 11 games across all competitions, already helping secure the Herons' first-ever trophy (2023 Leagues Cup) and booking a 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup spot. They're also hosting the US Open Cup Final on Sept. 27 vs. Houston Dynamo FC and pursuing a climb into the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Lionel Messi: Ballon d'Or history

Messi won six of his seven past Ballon d'Or awards with FC Barcelona. If he wins next month, he will become the first active MLS winner.

Winner (7): 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021

Second Place (5): 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017

Third Place (1): 2007

Full list of men's Ballon d'Or nominees

Julián Álvarez - Manchester City/Argentina

Nicolo Barella - Inter Milan/Italy

Jude Bellingham - Real Madrid/England

Karim Benzema - Al Ittihad/France

Yassine Bounou - Al Hilal/Morocco

Kevin De Bruyne - Manchester City/Belgium

Rúben Dias - Manchester City/Portugal

Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid/France

Ilkay Gündogan - Barcelona/Germany

Josko Gvardiol - Manchester City/Croatia

Erling Haaland - Manchester City/Norway

Vinícius Júnior - Real Madrid/Brazil

Harry Kane - Bayern Munich/England

Randal Kolo Muani - Paris Saint-Germain/France

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia - Napoli/Georgia

Robert Lewandowski - Barcelona/Poland

Emiliano Martínez - Aston Villa/Argentina

Lautaro Martínez - Inter Milan/Argentina

Kylian Mbappé - Paris Saint-Germain/France

Lionel Messi - Inter Miami/Argentina

Kim Min-Jae - Napoli/South Korea

Luka Modric - Real Madrid/Croatia

Jamal Musiala - Bayern Munich/Germany

Martin Odegaard - Arsenal/Norway

André Onana - Manchester United/Cameroon

Victor Osimhen - Napoli/Nigeria

Rodri - Manchester City/Spain

Mohamed Salah - Liverpool/Egypt

Bukayo Saka - Arsenal/England

Bernardo Silva - Manchester City/Portugal

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