The annual football award known as the Ballon d’Or has released its nominees for 2022.
Viewed as football’s most prestigious individual award, it is the pinnacle every professional player aims to reach in their playing career. Furthermore, the Ballon d’Or seeks to select the best male and female players in a calendar year and acknowledge all sporting-related activities.
There have been so many high flyers who have been performing outstandingly in this football calendar year. So many have proven themselves both at the club level and International level. Moreover, selecting nominees for this award doesn’t depend on their club performance but on what they were able to do for their national team and their activities off the pitch.
This year’s Ballon d’Or ceremony will take place in Paris on the 17th of October, 2022. Also, the event has been known to host many retired professional players who were champions during their playing time. This guide will discuss the Ballon d’Or award and its potential contenders for 2022. Furthermore, you can check some of the best crypto related sports betting platforms which you can use to exchance your experience.
History of this award
The Ballon d’Or award goes back to 1956, making it one of the oldest individual honours to be awarded to players. It has been changed several times, initially known as the Continental European Footballer of the Year Award. During these times, only European league players were recipients of the award. However, in 2007, organisers modified the award rules to accept players from all over the world.
For decades, the Ballon d’Or award has been won by attacking players due to their goal involvements. However, multiple changes made by its governing bodies have made it possible for players from different positions to succeed.
Past winners of the award
Many footballing greats have received the golden ball, with some taking it home more than once. The first-ever winner was Stanley Matthews of Blackpool, who won it in 1956. Furthermore, teams like Fc Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, and Milan have the highest number of Ballon d’Or winners in history.
Players like Johan Cruyff of Barcelona and Franz Beckenbauer were masters of the game in the 70s, with the former winning it three times in four years while the latter winning twice. However, in the 80s, Juventus and Milan were the leading force, producing multiple winners; Paolo Rossi won in 82, Michel Platini in 84, 85, and 86, with both playing for Juventus.
Then the late 80s saw Milan’s Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten winning it. Furthermore, the 90s saw notable names like Lothar Matthaus, Ronaldo, George Weah, Zinedine Zidane, and Rivaldo crowned winners.
The 20th century saw Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominate the sport. For ten years, the award was shared by both players. Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or seven times, the latest winner in 2021. Cristiano Ronaldo has won it five times, once during his time at Manchester United and the rest coming in his Real Madrid playing days.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or
The Manchester United superstar was the driving force for his club’s progress in the 2021/2022 English Premier League Season. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner capped some brilliant match-winning performances against Tottenham in the EPL and Villareal in the Champions League.
Furthermore, despite his 24 goals in the season, his team could only achieve the 6th position in the EPL, limiting his chances of claiming the 2022 Ballon d’Or award. However, with the 2022/23 EPL season having kicked off, fans of the Portuguese striker can keep up with his progress on sites dedicated to the superstar.
30-man shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or
In no particular order, these are the 30 players nominated for the 2022 Ballon d’Or.
● Christopher Nkunku (Rb leipzig)
● Robert Lewandoski(Barcelona)
● Luis Diaz(Liverpool)
● Phil Foden( Manchester City)
● Vinicius Junior( Real Madrid)
● Rafael Leao(AC Milan)
● Son Heung-Min(Tottenham Hotspur)
● Mohammed Salah(Liverpool)
● Bernado Silva(Manchester City)
● Joshua Kimmich(Bayern Munchen)
● Karim Benzema( Real Madrid)
● Riyad Mahrez(Manchester City)
● Mike Maignan(AC Milan)
● Thibaut Courtois(Real Madrid)
● Darwin Nunez(Liverpool)
● Sadio Mane(Bayern Munchen)
● Casemiro( Real Madrid)
● Harry Kane( Tottenham Hotspur)
● Luka Modric( Real Madrid)
● Kylian Mbappe( PSG)
● Sebastian Haller(Borussia Dortmund)
● Antonio Rudiger(Real Madrid)
● Kevin De Bruyne(Manchester City)
● Dusan Vlahovic(Juventus)
● Erling Haaland(Manchester City)
● Virgil Van Dijk(Liverpool)
● Joao Cancelo(Manchester City)
● Trent Alexander-Arnold(Liverpool)
● Cristiano Ronaldo(Manchester United)
The Possible 5 Top Contenders
The players on the 30-man list put in so many outstanding performances. However, there is only one possible winner. Therefore, listed below are the potential top 5 contenders for the award.
1. Karim Benzema
All hands point toward the Madrid striker; the French man has become the club’s talisman since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure. Furthermore, world-class performances in the Champions League have helped cement his stance for the award.
For example, his hat trick against Chelsea in the quarter-finals and brace against Manchester City in the semi-finals were vital in Real Madrid winning the Champions league title.
2. Mohammed Salah
The Egyptian winger had a very excellent first half of the year, with the winger scoring for fun. The Liverpool player ended the season with 31 goals and 13 assists which saw him win the EPL highest goal scorer. Furthermore, with team honours like the FA Cup and the EFL cup, Mohammed Salah stands a chance to rival Karim Benzema.
3. Kevin de Bruyne
The Belgian midfielder was a key factor in Manchester City winning the English Premier League. He averaged 14 assists and 19 goals last season and made the champions league team of the year.
4. Vinicius Junior
The lightning-quick Brazilian winger was the one who scored the winning goal in Madrid winning the champions league. He was a menace to defenders, scoring 22 goals with 11 assists.
5. Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane played a crucial role in his country’s AFCON success. Moreover, the former Liverpool man had a very successful year which saw him win the African player of the year.