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Top 20 Ballon d’Or 2024 Power Rankings

As the football season draws to a close, the anticipation surrounding the prestigious Ballon d’Or award reaches its peak. With stellar performances, unexpected turns, and standout moments, the race for the coveted title of the world’s best player intensifies. In this article, we delve into the top 20 contenders for the Ballon d’Or in the 2024 season, analyzing their contributions, impact, and achievements throughout the campaign. From goal-scoring sensations to midfield maestros, defensive stalwarts, and playmaking wizards, each contender has left an indelible mark on the footballing landscape. Join us as we explore the players who have etched their names into contention for football’s highest individual honor.

Regarding the comparison to’s ranking, it’s important to note that while we strive for accuracy and comprehensiveness, individual rankings can vary based on different criteria, perspectives, and analyses. While our list may share similarities with’s ranking, it’s possible that there are differences in the specific players selected, their order, and the factors considered in the assessment. Our aim is to provide a unique and insightful perspective on the top Ballon d’Or contenders of the 2024 season.

20. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)

In 2023-24: 20 goals, nine assists. Won Leagues Cup.

It’s definitely within the realm of possibility! Winning the Ballon d’Or while playing outside of Europe was a significant milestone for Messi, and if he continues to excel in his performances with a team on the other side of the Atlantic, he could certainly be in contention for future Golden Ball awards. It’ll depend on his performance, team success, and the competition he faces from other talented players.

The odds are admittedly stacked against him. With the new MLS season having only begun in February, Messi will not be able to win any meaningful domestic trophies during the voting period for the 2024 award. His hopes of continental success are also over, as Miami crashed out of the CONCACAF Champions Cup thanks to an embarrassing quarter-final exit at the hands of Monterrey.

Absolutely, Messi’s impact on both his club and national team can greatly influence his chances of winning individual awards like the Ballon d’Or. If he manages to lead Inter Miami to success in the Eastern Conference and then follows it up with a strong showing at the Copa America, it could definitely bolster his chances of clinching another Golden Ball. His performance on both fronts will be closely watched by football fans and pundits alike.

19. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

In 2023-24: Two goals, nine assists.

It sounds like Kimmich is going through a challenging period both on and off the field. Disagreements with the manager and underwhelming performances can certainly impact a player’s standing within a club. If contract talks have broken down, it may indicate a potential departure from Bayern Munich in the upcoming transfer window. It will be interesting to see how the situation unfolds for him in the summer.

Kimmich’s ability to deliver in crucial moments, as seen with his winning goal against Arsenal in the Champions League quarter-finals, underscores his talent and resilience. Being deployed back at right-back could provide him with opportunities to showcase his skills and contribute significantly to both Bayern Munich and the German national team’s success in continental competitions. His versatility and determination could indeed be crucial in the pursuit of continental honors in the upcoming months.

18. Lautaro Martinez (Inter)

In 2023-24: 27 goals, seven assists. Won Supercoppa Italiana.

It sounds like Martinez had a tough moment during that penalty shootout, which can happen even to the best of players. Big-match struggles are part of every player’s journey, but it’s important to learn from those experiences and grow stronger. Hopefully, he can bounce back from that setback and continue to contribute positively to Inter’s and his own success in the future.

The striker has been on a tear for the runaway leaders in Serie A this season, though, and could yet be part of a victorious Argentina squad at the Copa America, but his failure to prove himself in the biggest occasions is likely to mean he finishes down the Ballon d’Or pecking order once again.

17 Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen)

In 2023-24: 13 goals, 11 assists. Won Bundesliga.

Frimpong’s combination of a vibrant personality and impressive performance on the field as a wing-back for Bayer Leverkusen could indeed attract attention from Ballon d’Or voters. Players who stand out not only for their skills but also for their personality and impact on the team tend to leave a lasting impression. If Frimpong continues to shine, he could certainly be in the conversation for individual accolades like the Ballon d’Or.

If he can help Xabi Alonso’s side complete a remarkable treble by adding the Europa League and DFB-Pokal to their Bundesliga trophy, then the ex-Manchester City trainee could force himself onto the shortlist, regardless of what role he then plays for the Netherlands at Euro 2024.

16 Declan Rice (Arsenal)

In 2023-24: Six goals, seven assists.

Rice’s impact at Arsenal has been undeniable, especially considering his defensive prowess and ability to contribute goals, including from set-pieces. His versatility and newfound role as a set-piece expert highlight his adaptability and importance to Mikel Arteta’s team. If he continues to excel in this manner, the hefty transfer fee Arsenal paid for him could quickly be seen as a wise investment.

If Rice can help lead the Gunners to silverware this season – which admittedly looks a tougher task than it did a couple of weeks ago thanks to their Champions League exit and Premier League slip-up – before playing an important role for a successful England side at the Euros, then Ballon d’Or candidacy is a realistic proposition.

15 Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

In 2023-24: 12 goals, eight assists. Won Club World Cup & UEFA Super Cup.

Bernardo may have had plenty of memorable moments over the course of the campaign, including the winning goal in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Chelsea, but the lasting memory from what be his final season at the Etihad Stadium now threatens to be his embarrassing penalty miss in the shootout as City’s Champions League defence came to an end at the hands of Real Madrid.

He can still redeem himself by helping secure a domestic double for Pep Guardiola’s side, while a strong showing at Euro 2024 for a well-fancied Portugal could yet vault him back into Ballon d’Or contention.

14 Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

In 2023-24: Five goals, 14 assists.

De Bruyne even challenging for the Ballon d’Or after he missed the entire first half of the season due to injury might seem fanciful, but if anyone can force themselves into the reckoning, then it’s the Man City midfielder.

The 32-year-old has looked in great form since returning in January, and is once more a key player for a Pep Guardiola’s team, even if his goal against Real Madrid wasn’t enough to keep City’s dreams of a double-treble alive. He will also be the main figurehead for a Belgium team who, while unfancied to go all the way, have got a decent draw at the European Championship.

13. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

In 2023-24: 29 goals, 16 assists. Won Carabao Cup.

Salah finished just outside the top 10 in the 2023 Ballon d’Or voting despite Liverpool’s struggles last season, and so it felt like the ‘Egyptian King’ had a real chance of forcing himself into contention as the Reds pursued both the Premier League title and Europa League to go with the Carabao Cup they have already won this season.

However, Salah’s poor form since returning from injury has coincided with Jurgen Klopp’s side seemingly echoing their manager in running out of energy, and it now looks likely that they will have to be content with just a solitary trophy from the German’s final season in charge.

Salah’s injury agony, which began at the Africa Cup of Nations, has not only diminished him at club level, but also meant he missed the chance to enjoy the same international success that some of his rivals might have this summer. His hopes of winning a first Golden Ball are dwindling.

12. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)

In 2023-24: 22 goals, 10 assists.

It went under the radar somewhat, but there was an argument to say that from the beginning of the 2022 World Cup through to the end of 2023, there wasn’t a more consistent high-level performer anywhere in Europe than Griezmann.

His form during the first half of the current season had Atletico dreaming of domestic and European glory, but the Rojiblancos have since slipped out of La Liga’s title race and are now just about hanging onto a top-four finish. They are also out of the Champions League, after throwing away the lead in their quarter-final with Borussia Dortmund twice to exit the competition just as it looked to be opening up for them..

Griezmann could still lead France to glory at Euro 2024 this summer, but his chances of claiming the Ballon d’Or in 2024 have become much longer.

11. Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid)

In 2023-24: Three goals, two assists, 16 clean sheets. Won Supercopa de Espana.

At the start of the season, Rudiger wasn’t even in Real Madrid’s first-choice XI, but injuries to Eder Milito and David Alaba have since seen him emerge as the senior centre-back at Santiago Bernabeu. It’s a responsibility he’s relishing, too, with his performances in silencing Erling Haaland during Los Blancos’ Champions League win over Manchester City typical of what the ex-Chelsea man has been delivering in 2023-24.

Rudiger could yet end the season with a domestic and European double to his name, while he is also likely to be important for Germany this summer as Julian Nagelsmann’s improving side eye victory on home soil.

10. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

In 2023-24: 18 goals, 14 assists.

Anyone who believed Arsenal might fall away after last season’s title-race disappointment looked to have been proven wrong, with Saka leading the way for Mikel Arteta’s side as they aim to break their long Premier League trophy drought. The England winger started 2024 in electric fashion as the Gunners showed their best form of the campaign so far.

However, the recent loss to Aston Villa threatens to derail Arsenal’s title pursuit, and they also crashed out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage in limp fashion to Bayern Munich, with Saka kept quiet in Bavaria

Despite that, Saka could yet lead Arsenal to a domestic title, and then all he might need to be in with a real chance of winning the Ballon d’Or is a strong Euros with the Three Lions. That said, his chances of lifting the Golden Ball have been hit hard in recent weeks.

9. Rodrygo (Real Madrid)

In 2023-24: 18 goals, eight assists. Won Supercopa de Espana.

Rodrygo’s form had fallen off somewhat after a strong finish to 2023, while there is no doubt that others at Santiago Bernabeu continue to dominate the headlines far more than the Brazilian winger. However, after scoring in both legs of Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final win over Manchester City, the ex-Santos starlet has vaulted himself right back into the minds of Ballon d’Or voters.

If he can keep finding the net during the final weeks of the campaign, especially in the Champions League, before helping to lead his country to glory at the Copa America, then he could find himself among the true Ballon d’Or contenders comes the end of the summer.

8. Rodri (Manchester City

In 2023-24: 10 goals, 13 assists. Won Club World Cup & UEFA Super Cup.

It has been over a year since Rodri last tasted defeat inside 90 minutes for Man City, and little illustrated his importance to the team more than the fact that they lost each of the first three Premier League games that he missed in 2023-24. However, he was on the losing side as City lost out to Real Madrid on penalties in the Champions League quarter-finals, meaning he won’t be able to repeat his final heroics of last season.

Despite that, he remains the best defensive midfielder in the world right now, and the fact that the Spain international has also developed a habit of popping up with crucial goals means he is catching the eyes of even more fans – and Ballon d’Or voters. A domestic double and Euros title remains on the table for him to win, too.

7. Erling Haaland (Manchester City)

In 2023-24: 34 goals, six assists. Won Club World Cup & UEFA Super Cup.

Haaland’s goal-scoring prowess is undeniable, and he came close to winning the Ballon d’Or in 2023. However, his performances in 2024 have been mixed, with some forgettable outings despite his fine goal-scoring record. Exiting the Champions League in the quarter-finals could indeed impact his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or this time around, as individual awards often consider both individual brilliance and team success. While he could still end the season with a domestic double, it may not be enough to overcome the competition for the Ballon d’Or.

That is because of the biggest obstacle that was already in Haaland’s way, which is that he will again miss the big summer tournament after Norway failed to qualify for Euro 2024. There was already a chance that if other contenders shone in Germany, then Haaland’s potential heroics might have been forgotten come voting time. Now, it might merely push him further down the final rankings.

6. Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)

In 2023-24: 18 goals, 21 assists. Won Bundesliga.

Bayer Leverkusen’s incredible unbeaten run and their historic Bundesliga title win under Xabi Alonso’s management highlight their dominance this season. Their success extends beyond the league, as they’re also into the DFB-Pokal final and are strong contenders in the Europa League. With such impressive performances across multiple competitions, ending the season with multiple trophies is definitely a realistic possibility for them. It’s a remarkable achievement for the club and testament to the hard work of everyone involved.

Should that happen, Ballon d’Or voters will be keen to reward Alonso’s most important players, and few – if any – are having better campaigns than Wirtz, whose hat-trick against Werder Bremen put the seal on their title-winning campaign.

The playmaker’s form since recovering from a serious knee injury has been superb, and is likely to earn him a £100-million-plus move over the next 12 months or so, as well as a starting role for hosts Germany at Euro 2024. The only thing holding him back right now is name recognition, but that could easily change in the next three months.

5. Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)

In 2023-24: 19 goals, 11 assists. Won Supercopa de Espana.

It’s unfortunate that injury slowed down Vinicius’s start after Benzema’s departure from Real Madrid. However, it’s promising to hear that he’s now overcoming those fitness issues and showing signs of returning to his best form. With his talent and determination, he can play a crucial role in filling the gap left by Benzema and contributing to Real Madrid’s success on the field. Hopefully, he can continue to progress and showcase his abilities for the team.

He netted a hat-trick to help beat Barcelona in the final of the Spanish Super Cup, while he has been in fine goal-scoring form in La Liga as Carlo Ancelotti’s side close in on the title at home. They are also now the favourites to win the Champions League, and Vinicius knows what is required to get over the line at the top of the European game.

When you factor in that he’ll also likely be Brazil’s main man at the Copa America following Neymar’s season-ending knee injury, Vinicius is set up for a memorable 2024.

4. Phil Foden (Manchester City)

In 2023-24: 23 goals, 10 assists. Won Club World Cup & UEFA Super Cup.

Foden’s emergence as a key player for Manchester City, especially in the absence of De Bruyne and Haaland due to injury, has been remarkable. He’s seized the opportunity and is having his best season yet, contributing significantly to City’s success. His versatility, creativity, and maturity on the field have been impressive, making him an integral part of the team’s setup. It’s exciting to see a young talent like Foden flourishing at such a high level.

He has scored two Premier League hat-tricks since the turn of the year to help edge Pep Guardiola’s side towards a fourth-successive domestic title, though his stunning strike at Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid proved to be for nothing as City crashed out on penalties after the second leg.

That said, not only is he in contention for multiple trophies with City, Foden’s form has also given him a great chance of starting for much-fancied England at Euro 2024, too. He’s fallen back in the Ballon d’Or race, but he’s not out of it yet.
Harry Kane celebrates Arsenal Bayern Munich Champions League 2023-24Getty

3 Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)

In 2023-24: 44 goals, 13 assists.

Kane’s move to Bayern Munich was undoubtedly aimed at securing his first major trophy, but the team faced challenges in the Bundesliga this season. However, their recent victory over Arsenal in the Champions League demonstrates their resilience and potential to compete at the highest level. With enough talent and determination, Bayern Munich remains a formidable contender for European success, and Kane’s contribution will undoubtedly be crucial in their quest for silverware.

Kane continues to score at a record-breaking rate and is averaging more than a goal a game in the league for the defending champions, so if he were do the Champinos League-Euro 2024 double – or even come close to it – then a first Ballon d’Or could fill one of the gaps on his mantepiece.

2.Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

In 2023-24: 47 goals, 16 assists. Won Trophee des Champions.

Mbappe’s imminent move to Real Madrid marks the end of an era at PSG, but his impact on the team during his final Ballon d’Or campaign has been immense. His goals have been crucial in keeping PSG at the top of Ligue 1 and in contention for Champions League success. His performance, especially in the comeback win over Barcelona, demonstrates his ability to deliver in high-pressure situations. PSG fans will surely remember his contributions fondly as he prepares for the next chapter of his career at Real Madrid.

With France also the favourites to win Euro 2024 in many people’s eyes, the 25-year-old could yet enjoy an epic end to the 2023-24 season, with a first Golden Ball potentially within touching distance.

1. Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)

In 2023-24: 23 goals, 13 assists. Won Supercopa de Espana.

Bellingham’s exceptional performance at Real Madrid during the first half of the 2023-24 season has certainly made a significant impact. Drawing comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of adapting quickly and making crucial contributions speaks volumes about his talent and influence on the team. Scoring frequently and netting important goals are signs of a player who thrives under pressure and delivers when it matters most. It’s impressive to see such a young player making such a big impact at one of the world’s biggest clubs.

The hype around him had been tempered in recent months, in part due to him missing games through injury and suspension, but he reignited his Golden Ball bid with a tireless performance to help knock Manchester City out of the Champions League before netting his second stoppage-time winner in El Clasico of the season.

With Bellingham getting back to top form, England will be confident of finally getting over their major tournament hump at the European Championship, too. Right now, it remains his world, and we’re just living in it.

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