In 1956, sports journalist Gabriel Hanot created the prestigious Ballon d’Or (The Golden Ball).

The Award is given to the player who has shown the greatest on-field excellence throughout a season, as determined by journalists, coaches, and national team captains.

The Ballon d’Or award is presented by the French news magazine ‘France Football.’ It’s regarded as the most significant personal accolade in world football.

Largely dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in recent years, the only other players to win the Ballon d’Or in the past decade were Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema in 2022 and Luka Modrić in 2018.

This the Ballon D’Or will be awarded on the 28th October 2024 at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, France.

So will a new winner join them in 2024? Let’s take a look at who Betfred thinks could scoop the award.

Who Will Win The Ballon d’Or In 2024?

Player Odds
Kylian Mbappe 5/2
Jude Bellingham 11/4
Harry Kane 7/2
Phil Foden 10/1
Lionel Messi 12/1
Rodri 12/1
Erling Haaland 16/1
Vinicius 20/1
Mohamed Salah 25/1
Kevin De Bruyne 33/1
Rodrygo 50/1
Virgil Van Dijk 50/1
Jamal Musiala 66/1
Cristiano Ronaldo 66/1
Robert Lewandowski 100/1

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Kylian Mbappe – 5/2

It feels like it’s a matter of when, not if, Kylian Mbappe will win the Ballon d’Or.

He is consistently one of the world’s best players and has gotten off to another great start this season at PSG.

Mbappe finished the 2022/23 season with 43 in all competitions and was part of Paris Saint-Germain who were crowned French champions for the 11th time.

He also played for France, got to the World Cup Final against Argentina, and even though he was on the losing team, he still scored three goals in the game.

Jude Bellingham – 11/4

Winner of the Kopa Award at the ceremony in 2023, Jude Bellingham is now one of the bookies’ favourite to win the Ballon d’Or in 2024.

If he does, he will be the first English player to win the award since Michael Owen in 2001.

His performance for Real Madrid since moving from Borussia Dortmund in July 2023 has been nothing short of staggering.

With 17 goals from 25 appearances, if he keeps up this pace, he really could win it in 2024.

Erling Haaland – 16/1

In recent years, the Ballon d’Or has been accused of being a popularity contest rather than a bonafide competition to find the world’s best footballer.

And given that Erling Haaland was runner-up to Messi in 2023, it looks like the critics are right.

Messi didn’t need another Ballon d’Or. Sure, he won the World Cup but he also plays in the US, which is not exactly known for its football prowess.

In the last season, Haaland was undoubtedly the better player of the two and should have won.

With Messi unlikely to win the award in 2024, this could be Haaland’s best shot at winning it. He’s a goal-scoring machine and the lynchpin of Manchester City.

Though with Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe in the running, it’s going to be a tough one to win.

How Is The Ballon d’Or Winner Decided?

The Ballon d’Or winner is decided through a voting process involving a panel of international journalists, national team coaches and captains, managers, and former players.

France Football, the magazine that organises the Ballon d’Or, selects a group of international journalists from various countries.

These journalists are responsible for casting their votes to determine the winner.

The magazine then releases a list of 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or. These nominees are typically selected based on their performances over the football season, both at the club and international levels.

The journalists, national team coaches and captains from FIFA-affiliated countries, and a select group of managers and former players are invited to vote for their top five choices.

They assign points to their selections, with the first-choice player receiving the most points and the fifth-choice player receiving the fewest points.

After the voting period concludes, France Football tabulates the votes and calculates the total points received by each player.

The player with the highest total points is declared the winner of the Ballon d’Or.

2023 Ballon d’Or Winners

Lionel Messi secured his record-extending eighth Ballon d’Or after guiding Argentina to victory in the World Cup last year.

Messi’s historic achievement included becoming the sole player in history to clinch the award while representing three different clubs (Barcelona, PSG, Inter Miami).

He also stands as the only recipient to have earned it while playing outside of Europe (in the USA).

Aitana Bonmatí claimed her first Ballon d’Or Féminin following her triumph in the 2022–23 Women’s Champions League with FC Barcelona and her role in Spain’s victory at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

In other award categories:

Jude Bellingham – Kopa Trophy, for the best performing player worldwide under the age of 21

Emiliano Martínez – Yashin Trophy, for the best performing goalkeeper

Vinícius Júnior – Socrates Award, for humanitarian work by a champion footballer

Erling Haaland – Gerd Müller Trophy, for the highest-scoring footballer in the previous season

Manchester City – Men’s Club of the Year

FC Barcelona – Women’s Club of the Year award

Who Has Won The Most Ballon d’Or Awards?

Lionel Messi holds the record for the most Ballon d’Or wins with eight (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021, 2023).

Ronaldo used to be hot on his heels but he hasn’t won since 2017 and given that he is now in the Saudi league, looks unlikely to contend in 2024.

That said, he already has five wins, so not too shabby!

After Messi and Ronaldo, three other players have all won the Ballon d’Or three times.

They are Michel Platini (1983, 1984, 1985), Johan Cruyff (1971, 1973, 1974), and Marco van Basten (1988, 1989, 1992).

Previous Ballon d’Or Winners

  • 2023 – Lionel Messi
  • 2022 – Karim Benzema
  • 2021 – Lionel Messi
  • 2020 – NOT AWARDED
  • 2019 – Lionel Messi
  • 2018 – Luka Modric
  • 2017 – Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 2016 – Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 2015 – Lionel Messi
  • 2014 – Cristiano Ronaldo

BALLON D’OR TRIVIA

First Winner Of The Ballon d’Or

In 1956, the Ballon d’Or was first awarded to English footballer Stanley Matthews.

It came down to between him and Real Madrid great Alfredo Di Stefano, with just three points separating them for who would receive this prestigious honour.

Matthews is one of the most decorated English players and was even made ‘Sir Stanley Matthews’ while he still played.

In addition, he holds the record for being the oldest player in the top division at the grand age of 50 years and five days!

Famous Players Who Didn’t Win

One player who famously missed out on a Ballon d’Or was Thierry Henry.

Whilst at Arsenal, he won two Premier League titles, was voted the PFA Player Of The Year in two consecutive seasons and won four Golden Boots in his time with the Gunners.

However, he still finished runner-up to Pavel Nedved for that 2003 crown after having an arguably more successful campaign than the Czech midfielder had enjoyed with Juventus.

Franck Ribery is another player who unfairly missed out. In 2013 he was part of a Bayern Munich side that won the treble, and yet still couldn’t beat Cristiano Ronaldo for first place.

Ribery said in an interview he felt that he should have won the award that season.

One more player who was unlucky not to win the Ballon d’Or is Virgil Van Dijk. The Liverpool defender came second in 2019.

That season Van Dijk guided Liverpool’s Champions League final victory and was arguably the best defender in the world.

But as always, the Ballon d’Or voters favour forwards, and Virgil missed out.