After Lionel Messi won his eighth Ballon d'Or award in Paris in 2023, attention has now turned to who will win the prize in 2024.
It was difficult to see anybody else pick up the Ballon d'Or at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris after Messi led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar at the end of last year, but runner-up Erling Haaland also had a strong claim after a record-breaking first season for Manchester City in which Pep Guardiola's side won a treble of trophies.
Messi and Haaland will hope to be in contention for the most reputable individual award in the world of football again next year, and there is sure to be fierce competition as ever.
Conceived by French sportswriter Gabriel Hanot, the Ballon d'Or was first awarded in 1956 to Blackpool and England star Stanley Matthews, who pipped Real Madrid duo Alfredo Di Stefano and Raymond Kopa to the prize.
Initially seen as an award for just European players, the criteria was extended to include players from all over the world playing in Europe in 1995, with George Weah becoming the first player from outside the continent to pick up the trophy that same year.
The award then became a truly global prize in 2007, with all professional footballers from around the world being considered eligible.
Argentina star Messi has won the Ballon d'Or on a record eight occasions, three more than old adversary Cristiano Ronaldo, while Michel Platini, Marco van Basten and Johan Cruyff are the only other players to have received the accolade more than twice.
Karim Benzema's success in 2022 meant France joined Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Argentina as the most decorated nations in the trophy's history, with players from those countries having won it seven times, while along with Italy and Germany, France also boast the most individual winners of the Ballon d'Or with 5.
It has been announced that ahead of the 2024 awards the Ballon d'Or will be co-organised by UEFA and French media company Groupe Amaury for the first time, with new awards launched for best men's and women's coach of the year.
The Ballon d'Or Feminin, or as it is more commonly known the Women's Ballon d'Or, was established in 2018, with Ada Hegerberg having claimed the inaugural prize.
After Lionel Messi won his eighth Ballon d'Or on 30th October 2023, there has be no official announcement of the date for 2024's ceremony, which will take place in Paris as usual.
The awards typically take place during the month of October.
20-year-old English midfielder Jude Bellingham is currently the frontrunner for the 2024 Ballon d'Or after making a breath-taking start to life at Real Madrid following a summer switch from Borussia Dortmund.
Should Birmingham City academy graduate Bellingham go on to collect major silverware for Los Blancos this season and shine for Gareth Southgate's England at next summer's Euros he will put himself firmly in contention for the individual award.
The two players widely considered to be the heirs to the great Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the future superstars of the sport - Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland - will also have their eyes on collecting a first Ballon d'Or award in 2024.
Other contenders include England captain Harry Kane and Man City midfield lynchpin Rodri, whilst Messi and Ronaldo will be remain as desperate as ever to add a further Ballon d'Or to their collection.
|1957||Alfredo Di Stéfano||Real Madrid||72|
|1958||Raymond Kopa||Real Madrid||71|
|1959||Alfredo Di Stéfano||Real Madrid||80|
|1962||Josef Masopust||Dukla Prague||65|
|1963||Lev Yashin||Dynamo Moscow||73|
|1964||Denis Law||Manchester United||61|
|1966||Bobby Charlton||Manchester United||81|
|1968||George Best||Manchester United||61|
|1970||Gerd Müller||Bayern Munich||77|
|1972||Franz Beckenbauer||Bayern Munich||81|
|1975||Oleg Blokhin||Dynamo Kyiv||122|
|1976||Franz Beckenbauer||Bayern Munich||91|
|1977||Allan Simonsen||Borussia Mönchengladbach||74|
|1978||Kevin Keegan||Hamburger SV||87|
|1979||Kevin Keegan||Hamburger SV||118|
|1980||Karl-Heinz Rummenigge||Bayern Munich||122|
|1981||Karl-Heinz Rummenigge||Bayern Munich||106|
|1986||Igor Belanov||Dynamo Kyiv||84|
|1988||Marco van Basten||Milan||129|
|1989||Marco van Basten||Milan||129|
|1990||Lothar Matthäus||Inter Milan||137|
|1992||Marco van Basten||Milan||98|
|1996||Matthias Sammer||Borussia Dortmund||144|
|2000||Luís Figo||Real Madrid||197|
|2006||Fabio Cannavaro||Real Madrid||173|
|2008||Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United||446|
|2013||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||27.99%|
|2014||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||37.66%|
|2016||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||745|
|2017||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||946|
|2018||Luka Modrić||Real Madrid||753|
|2021||Lionel Messi||Paris Saint-Germain||613|
|2022||Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||549|
|2023||Lionel Messi||PSG/Inter Miami||462|
|2019||Megan Rapinoe||Reign FC||230|
The Kopa Trophy - awarded to the best player in the world under the age of 21 - was first handed out at the 2018 Ballon d'Or ceremony, with Frenchman Kylian Mbappe receiving the prize.
Since then, Mathijs De Ligt, Pedri and Gavi have all won the Kopa Trophy, with Jude Bellingham the most recent player to be presented with the prize at the 2023 Ballon d'Or awards.
The Yashin Trophy recognises the best goalkeeper of the year at the Ballon d'Or awards, with Brazilian Alisson Becker the first winner in 2019.
Gianluigi Donnarumma and Thibaut Courtois were the following two winners, with Argentine World Cup winner Emi Martinez the latest keeper to collect the Yashin Trophy at the 2023 awards in Paris.