The Ballon d’Or award is the most prestigious individual award in football.
Currently there has been criticism leveled against the organizers of the annual award due to the controversy that surrounded Lionel Messi being announced as the winner of the award in 2021.
This year’s award would be a different one. The award would be different in many ways.
The organizers of the award announced earlier this year that the award winner would no longer be decided based on performance in a calendar year but performance in a full football season.
This means that the winner of this year’s edition wouldn’t be influenced by the World Cup tournament coming up in November.
Also, this year would likely be the year when we wouldn’t see either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in the top three in more than a decade.
With the award ceremony coming up in October, below are the top ten favourites for the award as of May 2022:
1. Karim Benzema – €50 million – (Real Madrid)
2. Robert Lewandowski – €25 million – (Bayern Munich)
3. Mohamed Salah – €100 million – (Liverpool)
4. Kylian Mbappe – €160 million – (Paris Saint-Germain)
5. Luka Modric – €10 million – (Real Madrid)
6. Sadio Mane – €80 million – (Liverpool)
7. Bernando Silva – €75 million – (Manchester City)
8. Riyad Mahrez – €40 million – (Manchester City)
9. Vinicius Junior – €100 million – (Real Madrid)
10. Trent Alexander-Arnold – €80 million – (Liverpool)
Unsurprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are not in the top ten.
This is a result of both players’ underachievement this season, based on their own high standards.
Cristiano Ronaldo would go trophyless this season while Lionel Messi has struggled in the French Ligue One since completing his move to Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
The winner of this season’s Ballon d’Or award would greatly depend on the team that wins the Champions League title between Real Madrid and Liverpool.
However, based on current form and ranking, Karim Benzema is the favourite for the 2022 Ballon d’Or award.
The Frenchman is the highest goalscorer in the Champions League and the Spanish La Liga.
If Real Madrid wins the Champions League, nothing would stop the Frenchman from winning his first Ballon d’Or award.