Mbappe and Kane Climb in latest Balloon d'or power ranking


The race for the Golden Ball hotting up - so which of the game's biggest stars are true contenders, and who are merely pretenders?

After a season headlined by him finally getting his hands on the World Cup, Lionel Messi took home his eighth Ballon d'Or after picking up the 2023 prize in Paris back in October. The footballing world has moved on, though, and now the heat is on as we gradually move towards knowing the identity of the 2024 winner.

As we enter the final stretch, it promises to be an intense race. Along with the usual ups and downs of the European domestic season, this is a campaign that will see the majority of the globe's best players take part in international tournaments, including the European Championship and Copa America this summer.

So after a year that was defined by the battle between Messi's tournament success for Argentina and Erling Haaland's season-long superiority at Manchester City, how much of a bearing on the 2024 Ballon d'Or race will those international competitions have? Meanwhile, could we see the first win from someone who plays their club football outside of Europe, as more and more of the game's biggest names head to up-and-coming leagues in other parts of the world?