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Ballon d’Or Power Rankings – The 10 Favorites (May 2022)

Karim Benzema, Mohamed Salah, Ballon d'or
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As we kick off another year of football, Ace Football names the 10 current favorites for the prestigious 2022 Ballon d’Or award.

 After witnessing Lionel Messi claim a seventh Ballon d’Or last year, football’s biggest stars enter 2022 more determined than ever to lay their hands on the iconic award.

A combination of votes from football journalists, coaches, and team captains decide the winner of France Football’s annual accolade – only this year France Football has changed some rules.

The key one is that the votes will be based on performances for the 2021/22 season, instead of the calendar year. This means players won’t be judged for their World Cup games.

So, with these new factors in mind,  Ace Football checks out the 10 current favorites to win the 66th edition of the Ballon d’Or as of May 2022.

10) Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) 🇩🇿

Despite being unable to help Algeria defend their Africa Cup of Nations title, Riyad Mahrez has been solid this season.

The winger has scored an impressive 24 goals in 44 games for Manchester City in all competitions. He’s the club’s top scorer and has chipped in several assists on top of that.

9) Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

A defender hasn’t won the Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.

While it’s unlikely Trent Alexander-Arnold will break that duck, his performances this season have been top-notch. In fact, in just 31 Premier League games, he has made 14 goal contributions for Liverpool with a solid return of 12 assists.

For a full-back, that is impressive.

8) Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) 🇧🇪

Despite a bumpy start to the season, Kevin De Bruyne is coming good when it matters most. His performances have helped keep Manchester City on course for the Premier League title.

The Belgium international has consistently found the back of the net during the second half of this season and has chipped in either a goal or assist in six of his last seven league games.

7) Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid) 🇧🇷

 The 21-year-old Brazilian has raised his game under Carlo Ancelotti to become a key man for Real Madrid.

Despite Karim Benzema often stealing the spotlight, Vinicius’ impact hasn’t gone unnoticed. He’s been quietly putting away the goals and assists to help the club win LaLiga and the Spanish Super Cup, as well as challenge for another European title.

6) Luka Modric (Real Madrid) 🇭🇷

Modric is part of a rare breed of players to excel at the age of 36.

The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner remains an integral part of the Real Madrid squad. His displays have helped the club win the Spanish Super Cup, claim another La Liga title, and reach the Champions League final.

5) Kylian Mbappe (PSG) 🇫🇷

Kylian Mbappe is one of the dark horses for the 2022 Ballon d’Or.

The 23-year-old continues to thrive at Paris Saint-Germain, despite the uncertainty over his future. He has remained PSG’s star man, delivering the goods in Ligue 1 and the Champions League.

4) Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) 🇵🇱

New manager, new year, same old Robert Lewandowski.

The 33-year-old Pole smashed defenses in Germany and Europe once more. He scored a brilliant 35 goals in 34 Bundesliga games this season, and 12 goals in nine Champions League matches.

But Bayern Munich’s Champions League quarter-final exit to Villarreal last month makes Lewandowski unlikely to win this year’s Ballon d’Or.

3) Sadio Mane (Liverpool) 🇸🇳

After scoring the winning penalty to seal Senegal a first-ever AFCON title against Egypt, Mane did it again last month to send the African champions to the World Cup at the expense of the Pharaohs.

As for Liverpool, Mane continues to thrive. The 30-year-old has scored some critical goals against the likes of Benfica and Manchester City. Recently, he has hit a purple patch of form to help keep the Reds quadruple dream alive.

2) Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) 🇪🇬

 While many fans questioned his seventh-place finish in last year’s Ballon d’Or, Mohamed Salah has left his talking for the pitch instead.

The Liverpool man has raised his game this season, with 22 goals and 13 assists in the Premier League, and continues to star in the Champions League.

1) Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) 🇫🇷

According to Ronaldo Nazario, Karim Benzema is the best striker in the world.

While you may agree or not with that, you can’t deny the Frenchman is in brilliant form. He sits comfortably on top of the LaLiga goal charts and is a key man for the French national team again.

Benzema’s Champions League heroics, which include back-to-back hat-tricks against PSG and Chelsea, have left him in pole position for a maiden Ballon d’Or in 2022.