Ballon d’Or Rankings: Who’s The Favourite To Win The Award in 2024?

The Ballon d’Or is seen by football fans as the premium award in the sport. It has been awarded to the world’s best footballer since 1956, with Lionel Messi scooping the trophy for a record 8th time in 2023. Players value this award above all others too, largely because it’s voted for by the football community. Professional coaches and footballers vote for who they think is the best of the best, making this the ultimate player’s player of the year award. There’s a long way to go before the end of the 2023/24 season, but who are the standout favourites to claim the Ballon d’Or next year? 


We’ve compared odds from a range of bookies to see who’s leading the race. Now’s a great time to put a bet on this as the odds will likely get slimmer the more the season goes on. We made sure to choose various independent online bookmakers when curating this list as it means we cover odds from plenty of countries, providing the greatest accuracy. Now, we can boldly introduce the frontrunners for the Ballon d’Or 2024: 


Jude Bellingham – The Early Leader


Jude Bellingham’s big money move to Real Madrid couldn’t have gone better. He shone for England in the World Cup and showed marvellous maturity when they crashed out. After swapping Germany for sunny Spain, this young 20-year-old has been outstanding. 


He’s never been known as a goalscorer – and stats from WhoScored back this up. Bellingham hadn’t scored more than 8 league goals in a season before joining Madrid, but this year he’s the top scorer in La Liga with 12 goals in 14 games. His star keeps shining and he’s one of the key reasons Real Madrid are on a title charge this year. So, it’s not surprising to see him as the early bookies’ favourite. 


Kylian Mbappe – The Home Favourite


Football fans may find it weird to know that Kylian Mbappe will turn 25 this December. It only feels like a couple of years ago that he burst onto the scene as a speedy 17-year-old. While many young prodigies have promised lots but not delivered, Mbappe’s career has followed an upward trajectory. 


He won the World Cup with France in 2018 and then got the Golden Boot four years later in Qatar. Many believe he deserved the Ballon d’Or this year thanks to his incredible World Cup with France and the 29 goals that drove PSG to a final day title over Lens. 


It’s been more of the same this year as the French starlet keeps scoring goal after goal. He’s got 15 in 15 for PSG in the league and is carrying the club on his shoulders. Without him, they’d be scrapping for the European places. French fans believe the time is now and the bookies have him as second-favourite to pick up the trophy come the end of the season. 


Erling Haaland – Norway’s Great Hope


There has never been a Norweigan winner of the Ballon d’Or. Even during the iconic early 2000s with Ole Gunner Solskjaer scoring big goals for Man United, Norway hasn’t come close to bagging this award. 


In fact, Haaland himself came the closest when he finished 2nd this year. Again, plenty of football fans argue he could’ve won the trophy after a quite staggering debut season for Manchester City. There are some mind-boggling Erling Haaland stats out there, but these stand out from his first year in England: 


  • Fastest player ever to reach 50 Premier League goals
  • Most goals scored in a debut season in the Premier League (36)
  • Most goals scored in all competitions by a Premier League footballer (52)


The guy lives and breathes goals. It’s not a bold take to say that he’s the best out and out goalscorer on the planet right now. The only person who can run him close is Harry Kane, but Haaland still has the edge over him. 


As the bookmakers’ third favourite, you might be inclined to take a punt on Haaland. His odds are probably the most generous considering Man City have the potential to do great things and go far in lots of competitions this year. The only thing holding him back is the Norweigan national team. They didn’t qualify for Euro 2024, meaning Haaland will have to watch his closes rivals for the Ballon d’Or impress on the biggest stage. 


Harry Kane – An Underrated Contender


Calling Harry Kane underrated might be blasphemy in some parts of the world. How can a multiple Premier League top scorer and England captain be underrated?! He’s moved on from Spurs in a bid to find silverware and is already proving himself in one of the other top leagues in the world. And yet, he has never broken into the top three in the Ballon d’Or rankings. 


For context, Antoine Griezmann’s been 3rd twice, Jorginho somehow got in the top 3 in 2021 and Sadio Mane even somehow came in second in 2022. Despite being an outstanding player who’s heralded by teammates and pundits alike as one of the best in the world, Kane has never finished higher than 10. 


It’s completely mind-boggling, especially when you check the lists and see strikers who performed worse than him finish higher. That’s why he’s an underrated contender – and perhaps his performances in Germany will prove to others that he deserves a shot at the award. It’s highly unlikely, but if you want to root for an underdog, cheer for Harry! 


Lionel Messi – The Reigning Champ


Somehow, Lionel Messi is still 5th favourite to win the Ballon d’Or in 2024. He currently plays for Inter Miami in the MLS and every game looks like men against boys. The level is clearly well beneath him, but in the twilight of his career who can begrudge this legend from taking a lucrative contract. 


Should he win in 2024? Absolutely not. It would be one of the most undeserving awards of all time. What’s ironic is that Cristiano Ronaldo is way behind him in the pecking order, despite also playing in a bad league and scoring almost every game. 


It’s obvious that Messi only won the 2023 Ballon d’Or because Argentina won the World Cup. Take that away from his year and it pales in comparison to Mbappe, Haaland and possibly even Harry Kane. With on World Cup in 2024, there’s almost on chance he’ll claim a 9th trophy. 


The Ballon d’Or is the biggest popularity contest in professional football, while also being one of the most prestigious awards. Jude Bellingham is the odds-on favourite to win it, making him the first Brit to claim the trophy since Michael Owen in 2001.