Ballon d'Or 2022/2023 Nominees and Ilkay Gundogan's Barcelona Move

 At the 2022/2023 Ballon d'Or awards ceremony, the list of 30 nominees for this year was unveiled, In addition, Ilkay Gundogan's dream of joining Barcelona from Manchester City has finally come true, marking a significant milestone in his career.

Countdown to Glory: Meet the 30 Nominees for the 2023 Ballon d'Or

Countdown to Glory: Meet the 30 Nominees for the 2023 Ballon d'Or

In anticipation of the highly anticipated 2023 Ballon d'Or ceremony, 'France Football' magazine has unveiled the prestigious award's 30 nominees, These outstanding athletes have showcased their exceptional talents during the 2022/23 football season, vying for the title of the world's best player, Mark your calendars for the grand gala scheduled to take place at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday, October 30th.

The Ballon d'Or, an annual accolade presented by 'France Football,' crowns the globe's premier footballer each season, It's a moment of recognition for the athletes who have left an indelible mark on the world of football, and the journey begins with the creation of a 30-player shortlist.

The dedicated editorial team at 'France Football' assembles this elite group, cherry-picking players who've truly shone throughout the year, Once this initial selection is complete, the magazine reaches out to a global panel of journalists, one representative per nation, tasking them with choosing their top five contenders, The stakes are high, with six points awarded for a first-place vote, four for second, three for third, two for fourth, and one for fifth, These pivotal votes are then calculated to unveil the final rankings.

Last year's Ballon d'Or was claimed by former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who played an instrumental role in 'Los Blancos' capturing both La Liga and Champions League titles, etching his name into football history, In the all-time standings, it's Lionel Messi who reigns supreme, having been crowned the world's best player a remarkable seven times. Cristiano Ronaldo is a close second, with five Ballon d'Or victories to his name.

Among the frontrunners for this year's coveted prize is Manchester City's prolific striker, Erling Haaland, His contributions were pivotal in securing a historic treble, including the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup, with an astonishing 52 goals in his debut season, However, one player stands between Haaland and Ballon d'Or glory: Lionel Messi. The Barcelona legend played a pivotal role in Argentina's triumphant World Cup campaign, their first since the iconic Maradona-led victory in 1986.

Without further ado, let's introduce the 30 nominees for the 2022/2023 Ballon d'Or:

1. Andre Onana (CAM/Inter - Man Utd)

2. Josko Gvardiol (CRO/Leipzig - Man City)

3. Karim Benzema (FRA/Madrid - Al Nassr)

4. Jamal Musiala (GER/Bayern Munich)

5. Mohamed Salah (EGY/Liverpool)

6. Jude Bellingham (ENG/Borussia Dortmund - Real Madrid)

7. Bukayo Saka (ENG/Arsenal)

8. Randal Kolo Muani (FRA/Eintracht Frankfurt - PSG)

9. Kevin De Bruyne (BEL/Man City)

10. Bernardo Silva (POR/Man City)

11. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (GEO/Napoli)

12. Emiliano Martinez (ARG/Aston Villa)

13. Ruben Dias (POR/Man City)

14. Nicolo Barella (ITA/Inter)

15. Erling Haaland (NOR/Man City)

16. Martin Odegaard (NOR/Arsenal)

17. Ilkay Gundogan (GER/Man City - Barcelona)

18. Yassine Bounou (MOR/Sevilla - Al Hilal)

19. Julian Alvarez (ARG/Man City)

20. Vinicius Junior (BRA/Real Madrid)

21. Rodri (SPA/Man City)

22. Antoine Griezmann (FRA/Atletico)

23. Lionel Messi (ARG/PSG - Inter Miami)

24. Lautaro Martinez (ARG/Inter Miami)

25. Robert Lewandowski (POL/Barcelona)

26. Kim Min-Jae (KOR/Napoli - Bayern Munich)

27. Luka Modric (CRO/Real Madrid)

28. Harry Kane (ENG/Tottenham - Bayern Munich)

29. Victor Osimhen (NIG/Napoli)

30. Kylian Mbappe (FRA/PSG)

Stay tuned as the footballing world eagerly awaits the crowning of the next Ballon d'Or champion, The stage is set, and the contenders are ready to make history.

Ilkay Gundogan's Journey from Manchester City to Barcelona: A Dream Come True

Ilkay Gundogan's Journey from Manchester City to Barcelona: A Dream Come True

In a candid interview with 'Sport Bild,' Barcelona's midfield maestro, Ilkay Gundogan, sheds light on his departure from Manchester City during this summer's transfer window, The former City captain, who secured a historic treble with Pep Guardiola's squad last season, shared the reasons behind his move.

Gundogan acknowledged that the negotiations for his transfer took their time to intensify, He remarked, "City waited until relatively late in the process before the talks really picked up, If this had happened a bit earlier, the circumstances might have been different, So, in the end, it felt like the perfect ending, perfectly timed," reflecting on his transition to the Catalan club.

For Gundogan, the move to FC Barcelona was a realization of a childhood dream, While he refrained from delving into the finer details, he disclosed to the German newspaper 'Bild,' "It was quite late in the season when everything fell into place."

Curious about his connection with his former team, Gundogan revealed, "I have followed almost every game of my ex-club on TV," showcasing his continued interest in Manchester City's fortunes.

One intriguing aspect of Gundogan's Barcelona adventure is his experience playing under his idol, Xavi Hernandez, He shared insights into their initial interactions, stating, "I had a good feeling immediately, I think we are very similar in character, Even as a player, he had some aspects in his game that are also present in mine, That could be one reason why he values me," Gundogan went on to praise Xavi's intelligence on the field, saying, "Xavi was an extremely intelligent player who saw the value of simple but thoughtful play."

As the 32-year-old midfielder embarks on this new chapter of his career with Barcelona, his journey remains a testament to the power of dreams and the allure of playing for one's childhood idol.

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