The 30-players shortlist for the 2023 Ballon d’Or has been revealed, with Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland regarded as favourites for the prestigious award.
Four Serie A players have also been nominated, although their chances of winning the Ballon d’Or look slim.
Napoli hadn’t won the Serie A title for over 30 years but they ended their title drought last season by finishing 16 points above second-place Lazio. They might not have achieved this incredible feat without the goals of Victor Osimhen who was in top form in 2022-23. The Nigerian found the net on 26 occasions in 32 league outings, while he also netted five goals in six Champions League games.
Napoli has managed to keep hold of their star player despite huge interest from Europe’s top clubs. His spectacular start to the new campaign suggests he will post even better numbers this season.
Lautaro Martinez squandered a great opportunity to give Inter Milan a lead against Manchester City in the Champions League final in Istanbul. That miss proved costly as City went on to score and ultimately seal a 1-0 success at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in June.
Martinez may have fluffed his lines in the final but he enjoyed a brilliant season overall. The 26-year-old’s 28 goals across the campaign helped Inter win the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana. He was also part of Argentina’s World Cup winning squad.
Like Lautaro Martinez, Nicolo Barella also played an instrumental role in Inter’s successes last season. The 26-year-old started 31 Serie A matches, and also featured in 12 Champions League games.
His excellent displays last campaign has seen him nominated for the 2023 Ballon d’Or, which is his second nomination.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia was a relatively unknown figure last year when he joined Napoli from Dinamo Batumi. But within one season, he has created a huge name for himself.
Kvaratskhelia hit the ground running in Naples as he netted 14 goals and contributed 17 assists in 43 appearances in all competitions.
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