Salah, Mane or Benzema? All contenders for the 2022 Ballon d’Or ranked
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The Ballon d’Or is set to be given out tonight as stars of the football world will attend the ceremony held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France.
Lionel Messi is the current holder of football’s most prestigious individual award but he will not be holding it aloft tonight as he was not included in the final 20-man shortlist for this year’s award.
As we edge closer to the awards ceremony, we decided to rank the 20 contenders that are battling for the trophy.
Karim Benzema is the overwhelming favourite to win the Ballon d’Or after his stellar season with Real Madrid which saw him lift the La Liga and Champions League trophy.
However, there are 19 others who are looking to shock the Frenchman.
The Outsiders - Riyad Mahrez, Rafael Leao, Son Heung Min, Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara, Trent Alexander Arnold, Luis Diaz, Christopher Nkunku, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden.
The above-mentioned players are unlikely to be anywhere near the top five this year.
Although they enjoyed a good season with their teams, the main contenders were just better than them but a very big achievement already to be named one of the 20 best players in the world.
Close but not quite - Thibaut Courtois, Erling Haaland, Luka Modric, Kevin de Bruyne, Vinicius Junior.
Three Champions League winners within this category, including the player of the match in the final, Courtois and the match winner, Vinicius Junior.
Despite their heroics in Paris, they didn’t do enough over the course of the season to warrant a place in the top five.
De Bruyne unlucky to miss out after a fine season with Manchester City. As for Haaland, if he continues his fine start as a City player, he could be ranked much higher for next year's award.
The Main Contenders - Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane.
Very little separates these four players as they all enjoyed a stellar season with their clubs. Salah and Mane were gunning for the quadruple with Liverpool but ultimately fell short in the Premier League and Champions League.
Lewandowski, who should have won the award in 2020 but was denied by COVID, has scored more goals than any other player in Europe.
Mbappe will be one of the favourites for years to come but not quite done enough this year.
The Favourite - Karim Benzema.
It is safe to say that Benzema will be the winner tonight as his season has been second to none.
The Real Madrid star scored 48 goals and recorded 12 assists. He also got his hands on the La Liga, Champions League and Supercopa de Espana with Madrid, whilst winning the UEFA Nations League with France.
A season like no other, Benzema is, without a doubt, the deserving winner of this year’s Ballon d’Or
The ceremony is set to begin at 7:30pm BST on Monday, October 17.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Footyrenders
Topics: Ballon d'Or, Football, Karim Benzema, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, FIFA