Magical Lionel Messi netted a brace in Inter Miami’s 4-0 rout of Atlanta United in a Leagues Cup clash on Tuesday night, July 25.
The former Barcelona superstar, who won the FIFA World Cup with Argentina in December 2022, is odds-on to win an eighth Ballon d’Or this year.
The 36-year-old now has a 1/6 odds to win the prestigious prize, especially after he grabbed a brace at his new club in the United States.
Messi dazzled the fans on the night with two first-half goals, again announcing his presence in Florida.
After his match-winning free-kick in his debut game, the former PSG star continued to show that he is not in the United States to take things easy.
He looked so hungry to succeed in the MLS, increasing his prospect of winning the Ballon d’Or again.
Erling Haaland, who won a treble with Manchester City, has a 10/3 to add Ballon to his laurels, as the Norwegian seems to have the best chance of edging Messi.
According to the market, the Manchester City goal machine is the only player with a chance of denying Messi from winning the gong.
His teammate Kevin de Bruyne comes next at 40/1, while Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid, Ilkay Gundogan and ROdri of Manchester City are all pegged at 50/1.
The market is in little doubt – the Ballon d’Or is going to Miami, Puntifeed reports.
Date set for 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony
Sports Brief earlier reported that The 2023 Ballon d’Or, organised by France Football annually, remains the most anticipated award for footballers after the FIFA World Cup was staged last year.
Even though FIFA’s The Best awards have tried to rival it, many regard the Ballon d’Or as the biggest individual prize in world football and a true marker of the best in the game.
The 2023 Ballon d’Or awards are scheduled to take place on October 30 at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France.