The glitzy annual ceremony takes place in Paris this evening, when the Argentine icon is expected to extend his record and claim football's most prestigious individual prize yet again at the Theatre du Chatelet after his World Cup-winning exploits in Qatar last winter.
Even Erling Haaland's remarkable 2022-23 campaign, one that saw him score 52 goals in just 53 matches and fire Manchester City to the Treble, is unlikely to be enough to deny Messi, who is already very much in a league of his own - boasting seven to great rival Cristiano Ronaldo's five - when it comes to the Ballon d'Or.
Six other City players join Haaland on the 30-man shortlist, with Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane the English representation.
The Ballon d'Or Feminin will also be awarded tonight, with Aitana Bonmati believed to be leading the race after a stellar season for Barcelona and Spain.
Alexia Putellas has won the award in each of the last two years, but an ACL injury ended her hopes of making it a hat-trick and she is not on the shortlist this time.
Mary Earps, Millie Bright, Rachel Daly and Georgia Stanway are the four English players nominated, after the Lionesses reached the World Cup final in the summer.
When is the Ballon d'Or?
The winner will be crowned tonight on Monday October 30, 2023, at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.
What time is the Ballon d'Or?
The ceremony is due to begin at 8pm BST, though as ever there will be plenty of build-up and other awards to hand out.
How to watch the Ballon d’Or ceremony
Live stream: The ceremony will be broadcast live on French newspaper L’Equipe’s YouTube channel and website.
Live blog: You can follow the ceremony in full today via Standard Sport’s live blog.
Men's Ballon d’Or shortlist in full
Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig and Manchester City)
Andre Onana (Inter Milan and Manchester United)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid and Al-Ittihad)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt and Paris Saint-Germain)
Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City and Barcelona)
Yassine Bounou (Sevilla and Al-Hilal)
Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)
Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
Rodri (Manchester City)
Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Miami)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
Kim Min-jae (Napoli and Bayern Munich)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich)
Ballon d'Or Feminin shortlist in full
Mary Earps (Man United)
Millie Bright (Chelsea)
Rachel Daly (Aston Villa)
Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich)
Sam Kerr (Chelsea)
Guro Reiten (Chelsea)
Katie Mccabe (Arsenal)
Khadija Shaw (Man City)
Jill Roord (Man City)
Yui Hasegawa (Man City)
Hayley Raso (Real Madrid)
Amanda Ilestedt (Arsenal)
Hinata Miyazawa (Man United)
Daphne Van Domselaar (Aston Villa)
Mapi Leon (Barcelona)
Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona)
Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona)
Patricia Guijarro (Barcelona)
Fridolina Rolfo (Barcelona)
Salma Paralluelo (Barcelona)
Olga Carmona (Real Madrid)
Linda Caicedo (Real Madrid)
Alba Redondo (Levante)
Wendie Renard (Lyon)
Kadidiatou Diani (Lyon)
Alexandra Popp (Wolfsburg)
Ewa Pajor (Wolfsburg)
Lena Oberdorf (Wolfsburg)
Debinha (Kansas City)
Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns)
What other awards will be given out?
There is a 10-man shortlist for the Kopa Trophy, given to the best men’s under-21 player. Jude Bellingham is unsurprisingly nominated, along with Barcelona trio Gavi, Pedri and Alejandro Balde.
Jamal Musiala is also in the running, while Manchester United's Rasmus Hojlund is the only Premier League player on the shortlist.
The Yashin Trophy will also be handed out to the best goalkeeper - last year's winner Thibaut Courtois is nominated again. So too are Aaron Ramsdale, Emi Martinez, Andre Onana and Ederson, but Liverpool's Alisson misses out this time.
Ballon d'Or odds
Lionel Messi - 1/25
Erling Haaland - 9/1
Jude Bellingham - 40/1
Rodri - 50/1
Kevin De Bruyne - 80/1
Kylian Mbappe - 80/1
Aitana Bonmati - 1/5
Olga Carmona - 8/1
Mary Earps - 10/1
Sam Kerr - 16/1
Asisat Oshoala - 33/1
Salma Paralluelo - 33/1