Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi are the two main contenders for the 2023 Ballon d’Or. It’s still early days in the race for the 2023 edition of football’s most coveted individual award.
But these two players have already had a profound impact on the course of the 2022-23 season, both at club and country level.
After guiding Argentina to World Cup glory, Messi looks set to win a record eighth Ballon d’Or. However, things won’t be that simple for him as his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappé is also making an impact.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the five reasons why Mbappé deserves to win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Messi in 2023.
#5 FIFA World Cup 2022 Best Player
If Messi had won the 2022 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball awarded to the best player of the tournament, it would not be unfair to say that Mbappé deserved it as well. The French forward has scored eight goals and provided two assists in seven appearances for Qatar.
He scored a brilliant hat-trick in the World Cup final against Argentina. After trailing 2-0 until the 80th minute, Mbappé got France back into the game after everyone eliminated them. It is undoubtedly one of the best individual performances in history in a World Cup final.
Mbappe’s goals and the chaos he causes with his speed and guile have given France an advantage in this tournament. Messi, meanwhile, has received much more support from his Argentine teammates.
Double Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo Nazario, who also won the 2002 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot, believes Mbappe should have won the World Cup’s Ballon d’Or. He told Apostagolos (via Sportskeeda):
“The player who impressed me the most is Kylian Mbappé. He did an excellent World Cup, from the first match to the final. Even when he didn’t score, whether it was against England in the quarter-final or against Morocco in the semi-final, he always performed well and provided assists. »
And in the final he was extraordinary by scoring four goals because I also count his shots on goal. Technically he is above the rest, he is almost unstoppable and he should have been named the best player of the World Cup because he deserves it. »
#4 Golden Boot at the World Cup
Among Mbappe’s successes in the 2022-23 season is the Golden Boot at the World Cup. He scored eight goals in Qatar’s premier football event. A key factor is that he has overtaken Messi in the World Cup.
That’s a lot of goals that Ronaldo Nazario scored in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He went on to win the Ballon d’Or that year. It is undoubtedly a defining feat that should see Mbappé at least on par with Messi in the Ballon d’Or race.
No. 3 Mbappé will finish the season as PSG’s top scorer.
Mbappe leads PSG’s attack and his incredible scoring form should propel the side to glory this season. While Messi’s playmaking may be so important, without Mbappé’s lethality in the final third, Christophe Galtier’s side would not be as successful.
The Frenchman has scored 20 goals and five assists in 22 appearances in all competitions for the Parisians since the start of the season. He is very likely to end up top scorer in Ligue 1 and maybe even the Champions League. Mbappe has already scored seven goals in Europe’s elite competition.
#2 Mbappé is more likely to continue performing at the top level in the second half of the season.
Mbappe is only 24 and in his prime. In fact, he still has many years at the top and is in better shape than he is right now. He can play week after week without compromising intensity. On the other hand, it is quite surprising that Messi plays at an elite level at the age of 35.
However, after going through a string of tough encounters in the first half of the season, it wouldn’t be surprising if he didn’t replicate the same levels in the second. Therefore, Mbappé is more likely to finish the season on a high note and this could negatively affect Messi in his 2023 Ballon d’Or race.
Number 1 Mbappé is PSG’s main striker
Mbappe is likely to earn plenty of praise in the second half of the season as PSG’s attacks are all about him. Messi plays more of a supporting role and, despite being key to their game in the final third, Mbappe is more likely to steal the show.
Should PSG win major trophies at the end of the season, Mbappé is likely to play a more prominent role than Messi. After all, he is a player who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final and is also in great shape.
If PSG win many trophies at the end of the season, Mbappé is likely to have had a more prominent role in them than Messi.