Messi and Mbappe lead Ballon d’Or 2023 race

Karim Benzema won the 2022 Ballon d’Or award after his impressive 44 goals helped Real Madrid lift the Champions League and La Liga trophies last season.

However, the 35-year-old is unlikely to repeat that feat in 2023 with injury issues ruling him out of the World Cup and also limiting his game time to just 12 league starts.

Lionel Messi is currently leading the race for the prestigious award after he led Argentina to success in Qatar last year.

The 35-year-old scored seven goals and three assists on his way to winning the Golden Ball award.

His levels haven’t dropped since returning to Ligue 1, with the forward scoring in PSG’s previous two games against Montpellier and Toulouse. The former Barcelona star has bagged 15 goals and contributed 14 assists in 24 appearances for the Parisians so far this season.

His future at the Parc des Princes is uncertain but the 35-year-old is currently leading the race for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.

But if anyone is to challenge him for the title, it will probably be his club teammate Kylian Mbappe who is being regarded as the second favourite.

The 24-year-old notched a hat-trick in the 2022 World Cup final for France but still failed to get his country over the line.

There are still plenty of matches left to play in the 2022-23 season and Mbappe could hit an impressive goalscoring form to help his side win the Champions League.

If that happens, the Frenchman could pip Messi to the Ballon d’Or award.