On Wednesday, France Football magazine unveiled the list of 30 players in contention for the Ballon d’Or 2023, the prestigious award given to the best player of the year. This year, four African footballers have been nominated for this honor.

The official list of 30 candidates for the Ballon d’Or 2023 is now out. The ceremony to present this renowned individual award will take place on October 30th in Paris, France. Among the top contenders for the ultimate title, the undisputed favorites are Erling Haaland, Lionel Messi, and Kylian Mbappé.

Four African players are also among the nominees. They include Victor Osimhen, the Nigerian forward from Napoli, Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian from Liverpool, as well as two goalkeepers vying for the Yachine Trophy: André Onana from Cameroon and Yassine Bounou from Morocco.

While the captain of the French national team and PSG forward, Kylian Mbappé, has strong arguments to claim the top spot, Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi appear to have a slight edge. The formidable Norwegian striker had an exceptional season with Manchester City, scoring 52 goals in 53 matches across all competitions, significantly contributing to his team’s historic triumph in the FA Cup, Premier League, and Champions League, achieving a historic treble.

On the other hand, Lionel Messi, the star of the American club Inter Miami, comes with the title of 2022 World Champion, secured with the Argentine national team in Qatar. As the Albiceleste captain and holder of the record for seven Ballon d’Or wins, Messi played a decisive role in his team, scoring 7 goals, including a double in the final against France.

Here is the complete list of the 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or 2023:

1. Josko Gvardiol (21 years old, Manchester City/Croatia)
2. Jamal Musiala (20 years old, Bayern Munich/Germany)
3. André Onana (27 years old, Manchester United/Cameroon)
4. Karim Benzema (35 years old, Al-Ittihad/France)
5. Mohamed Salah (31 years old, Liverpool/Egypt)
6. Bukayo Saka (22 years old, Arsenal/England)
7. Kevin De Bruyne (32 years old, Manchester City/Belgium)
8. Jude Bellingham (20 years old, Real Madrid/England)
9. Randal Kolo Muani (24 years old, PSG/France)
10. Bernardo Silva (29 years old, Manchester City/Portugal)
11. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (22 years old, Napoli/Georgia)
12. Nicolo Barella (26 years old, Inter Milan/Italy)
13. Emiliano Martinez (31 years old, Aston Villa/Argentina)
14. Ruben Dias (26 years old, Manchester City/Portugal)
15. Erling Haaland (23 years old, Manchester City/Norway)
16. Martin Odegaard (24 years old, Arsenal/Norway)
17. Ilkay Gündogan (32 years old, Barça/Germany)
18. Yassine Bounou (32 years old, Al-Hilal/Morocco)
19. Julian Alvarez (23 years old, Manchester City/Argentina)
20. Vinicius Junior (23 years old, Real Madrid/Brazil)
21. Rodri (27 years old, Manchester City/Spain)
22. Antoine Griezmann (32 years old, Atlético Madrid/France)
23. Lionel Messi (36 years old, Inter Miami/Argentina)
24. Lautaro Martinez (26 years old, Inter Milan/Argentina)
25. Robert Lewandowski (35 years old, Barça/Poland)
26. Kim Min-Jae (26 years old, Bayern Munich/South Korea)
27. Luka Modric (37 years old, Real Madrid/Croatia)
28. Kylian Mbappé (24 years old, PSG/France)
29. Victor Osimhen (24 years old, Napoli/Nigeria)
30. Harry Kane (30 years old, Bayern Munich/England).