With France Football announcing a new format for the Ballon d’Or award, 2022 will be a different year, and we will likely have a new set of players grace the podium. Now, the best would be judged based on the performance throughout a single season instead of the traditional calendar year.
So, the best performing players in a particular season would have the chance to win the Ballon d’Or. With the 2021/2022 season coming to an end and score predictions becoming harder to make, some players have stood out from the crowd and shown that they can carry their teams, score goals, influence, and win games.
As it stands, not many players have a shot at this year’s award, and there is a chance we don’t see the two most decorated players in the fray this year. In that case, here are our top five picks for a chance to win the award this year.
This season Karim Benzema has been the standout player. Although he was behind Lewandowski in the running at the start of the season, he has since overturned that and become the forerunner for the award. He is the current highest goalscorer for La Liga and the UCL. Also, there is a chance that Real Madrid would win the UCL since they are already in the final.
Winning the UCL and the league is surely the ultimate path to complete Benzema’s quest for the most prestigious award in Soccer. As it stands, he has the best chance to win the award, and only Sadio Mane can take that from him as Liverpool is in the running to win the quadruple this season. However, the UCL final between Liverpool and Real Madrid would be a big decider in who gets the award.
One of the best players in Liverpool and the standout star on Senegal’s road to their AFCON title. This season has been good for Mane, and there is a chance that he will add three more titles before the end of the season. With that, it would be the best and most trophies for a single play in a season.
Although they still have to usurp Man City, beat Chelsea, and overcome Real Madrid, the possibility is there, and Liverpool has the firepower to get to the finish line. It will be a long final season for Sadio Mane and the team. They can’t afford to lose any match this month unless it could spell losing one of their titles.
So, we expect a top performance from an experienced player, making him the second African player to win the prestigious award.
Robert Lewandowski started the season on high, and he has been in the Ballon d’Or shout for a couple of years. He was undeniably the winner in 2020 after Bayern cruised through to their 6th UCL title. However, due to Covid, the award was canceled, and Lewandowski missed out on winning the award.
However, he hasn’t been in the best of forms this season, and he is surely behind Sadio Mane and Karim Benzema. Therefore, his chances of winning the award are slim, and even though Bayern won the Bundesliga, it might not be enough for the Polish to win the award. We might have to wait another year to see Lewandowski get a shot at the award.
This year, Mohamed Salah captained the Pharaohs of Egypt to the AFCON final. He is currently the English Premier League’s highest goalscorer. In addition, Salah is in the final with Liverpool. Although Liverpool winning the lot might be more favorable to his teammate, he has a shot at the title, given that he is the highest goalscorer and probably the MVP of one of the competitions.
However, there’s a higher chance that Mane will get the award ahead of the Egyptian. We have the whole of May to see how this plays out, and in the end, we will know if another Liverpool player will win the Balon D’or or if the award is going to Spain or Germany.
The Paris Saint Germain star is one of the best youngsters in the world that many experts have dubbed a future Ballon d’Or winner. He is on the run to be one of the best players of all time, and even though this season doesn’t seem like it will happen, there is a chance he will get on the podium. Mbappe has been sensational for PSG, and he is the current highest goalscorer in France.
Even though he plays in a front three with Messi and Neymar, Mbappe has been the clear star of the trio. The youngster has the most goals and assists, and although we might not see him in PSG colors next season, he sure deserves a shout for his performance for the Parisian giants.