The Ballon d’Or remains the most valuable award in world football, in spite of all the controversy and criticism it generates, and the race for the 2022 prize is on. Ballon d’Or voting rules have changed. With the biggest change being that performances in a calendar year will no longer be considered for the award. This is according to France Football’s March announcement.
As a result, it means the performance of the team at the 2022 World Cup in November will not be kept for the criteria in the voting for the Ballon d’Or this year, but instead in 2023. The attention to trophies has also been reduce (known as Jorgeginho’s Law).
As the Ballon d’Or race enters its final months, and as the current champion Lionel Messi looks to win his 8th Golden Ball. Let’s see who holds the most power going into the new year?
Favourite players for Ballon d’Or (source – GOAL)
10) RIYAD MAHREZ
Mahrez had a phenomenal season in front of goal during the 2021-22 season. With his performance at the Africa Cup of Nations being the only negative mark.
9) DUSAN VLAHOVIC
If he is to finish inside the top 10, he will need a few memorable moments before the season is over. Champions League clash with Villarreal this week would be an excellent starting point.
8) VINICIUS JUNIOR
In 2017, Madrid saw potential in him when it signed the Brazilian from Flamengo. As a result, the winger was electric at Santiago Bernabeu.
7) BERNARDO SILVA
Although Bernardo has been consistent at the highest level regardless of his raw statistics. His overall performances have been good but not great.
6) SADIO MANE
It is still appropriate to weigh in Mane being named the Player of the Tournament, despite Liverpool having endured a difficult season at times. He led his country to the biggest international honor of this year’s Ballon d’Or voting window.
5) LUKA MODRIC
You probably weren’t aware that Modric has been playing at an impressive level for a 36-year-old during the 2021-22 season if you aren’t a regular Madrid fan.
4) KYLIAN MBAPPE
Even though Mbappe is the best player in the world right now. He may not make the Ballon d’Or podium after Paris Saint-Germain’s early exit in the Champions League in 2022.
3) MOHAMMED SALAH
Salah is having a phenomenal season, both the two players ahead of him also have had impressive campaigns. The only difference is that both scored tie-breaking hat-tricks to guarantee their progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
2) KARIM BENZEMA
It was difficult to not rank Benzema at the top of this ranking. Since his hat-trick against PSG is the most memorable moment this season.
1) ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski now has a chance to win a deserved Ballon d’Or this season after hitting 50 goals in the first half of the season.
Big Names and where they stand
20) LIONEL MESSI
Argentinian forward Lionel Messi’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or in 2022 seem to have been dashed after PSG was knocked out of the Champions League. Argentinian was removed from the race for this year’s award following their early exit at the World Cup (prediction).
17) ERLING HAALAND
After his latest injury lay-off, haaland returned to action on Sunday, hoping to return to top form in the final weeks of the season.
16) CRISTIANO RONALDO
Even if Ronaldo has lost some of his consistency in recent years, he remains the highest goalscorer of all time. His hat-trick for Manchester United against Tottenham was a reminder of his class.
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