Benzema, Salah, De Bruyne, Mbappe: Who will win the 2022 Ballon d'Or?

The race for the 2022 edition of the coveted Ballon d’Or is beginning to crank up.

France Football announced in March that rules for Ballon d’Or voting have been updated, with two changes in particular catching the eye.

Firstly, performances will now only be judged over a season rather than a calendar year, so players have little time remaining to leave a lasting impression in their hunt for the title.

Secondly, the significance placed on team honours achieved – better known as ‘Jorginho’s Law’ – has now been scaled back, meaning there will be a primary focus on a players’ performance and whether they’ve won 16 trophies that year as a sub is irrelevant.

Okay, that’s overexaggerated but you get the jist.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how the race to be crowned the world’s best player is shaping up.

The power rankings are courtesy of our friends at GOAL who have been tracking the best players throughout the season.

The race for the 2022 Ballon d’Or power rankings:

20. Erling Haaland
19. Harry Kane
18. Luis Diaz
17. Joao Cancelo
16. Diogo Jota
15. Virgil van Dijk
14. Riyad Mahrez
13. Christopher Nkunku
12. Thiago Alcantara
11. Bernardo Silva
10. Trent Alexander-Arnold
9. Phil Foden
8. Vinicius Junior
7. Luka Modric
6. Kevin De Bruyne
5. Sadio Mane
4. Kylian Mbappe
3. Robert Lewandowski
2. Mohamed Salah
1. Karim Benzema

There you have it, Benzema is leading the charge as we head into the final stage of the season and understandly so.

The Frenchman’s tally of 45 goals and 13 assists to date, not to mention spearheading Real Madrid’s La Liga triumph and deep Champions League run place him firmly in pole position – Salah will need to do something special to usurp his season long rival at this point.

Benzema of Real Madrid
MADRID, SPAIN – JANUARY 08: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the La Liga Santader match between Real Madrid CF and Valencia CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 8, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Moving down the list, Mane surprisingly has not managed to push past Mbappe as of yet and comes in at only fifth. The Senegalese has been talismanic for Liverpool in recent times and you feel he could have an outside chance should Klopp’s men achieve that miraculous quadruple.

Manchester City, Real Madrid and Liverpool players then dominate the standings between 5th-13th until RB Leipzig’s Nkunku breaks the duct.

Their inspirational French midfielder has somehow produced a return of 30 goals and 20 assists in 2021/2022, which has rightfully attracted the attention of all of Europe’s biggest powerhouses – surely he needs to be breaching that top 10?

BERGAMO, ITALY – APRIL 14: Christopher Nkunku of RB Leipzig celebrates after scoring their team’s first goal during the UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Leg Two match between Atalanta and RB Leipzig at Stadio di Bergamo on April 14, 2022 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

And we don’t mean to plough on at you GOAL, but Van Dijk at 15th? We won’t go there.

Sneaking on towards the bottom of the list, Kane and Haaland land the 19th and 20th spot. The Englishman has come into exceptional form recently after a topsy turvy season by his standards, whilst Haaland has performed impressively when not injured in the yellow of Borussia Dortmund.

All things considered, a respectable effort.

Liverpool & City who cracks first? (The Football Terrace)

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