The nominees for the 2023 Ballon d’Or have been announced, and though there are few surprises in the Top 30 for the men and women, the fact that the list includes names from our communities is still worthy of celebration.
On the men’s side of things, four players from Argentina’s World Cup-winning squad made the shortlist, with Brazilian Vinicius Jr. rounding out the Latino men in the men’s Top 30.
Lionel Messi, who has been nominated for the award 16 times, is joined by Argentinian teammates Lautaro Martínez, Julían Alvarez, and Emiliano Martínez. The Argentinian goalkeeper was also nominated for the Lev Yashin trophy for best goalkeeper, with Brazil’s Ederson the only other Latino to be nominated for that award.
The winners will not be announced until the Ballon d’Or ceremony, which is set to take place October 30th, 2023 but Messi remains the odds-on favorite to win his record eight Ballon d’Or. Lautaro Martínez, meanwhile, makes the shortlist for the second time in his career, while Alvarez, who is only 23, makes his first appearance, as does Emiliano Martínez.
Rounding out the Latinos in the men’s Top 30 is Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr.
Brazil only made it to the quarterfinals of the FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup, but Vinicius Jr.’s strong season with his club earned him a nomination. And at 23 years old, he seems like a very strong candidate to not just make this short list, but win the award in the future. He finished eighth in the voting for the Ballon d’Or last season.
On the women’s side of things, Colombia’s Linda Caicedo, made the list of nominees for the Women’s Ballon d’Or. She recently helped her team to the quarterfinals of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time.
Joining her is Brazil’s Debinha, one of the biggest stars of the National Women’s Soccer League. She currently plays for the Kansas City Current. Like Caicedo, she made it to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Unfortunately, Brazil didn’t make it out of the group stage.