2022 Ballon d'Or: Benzema, Mbappe, Salah & Mane among 20 favourites

Karim Benzema is among the 20 favourites for the 2022 Ballon d'Or

In March, France Football announced a huge change to the Ballon d’Or voting.

From the 2021/22 season onwards, the award will now be given to the best player over a standard European season rather than during a calendar year.

That means players have done all they can following the conclusion of the Champions League, which Real Madrid were victorious.

The award will be given out in October.

But who are the favourites to win the 2022 Ballon d’Or? Goal have ranked the 20 biggest contenders and you can view their list below…

20. Rafael Leao (AC Milan)

Leao scored 14 goals and recorded 14 assists in 2021/22 as AC Milan were crowned Serie A champions.

19. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)

Mahrez scored 24 times for Manchester City in all competitions this season.

Riyad Mahrez is among the 20 favourites for the 2022 Ballon d'Or
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 22: Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City celebrates with the Premier League trophy after their side finished the season as Premier League champions during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium on May 22, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

18. Rodri (Manchester City)

Rodri has emerged into one of Man City’s key players in recent times.

17. Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

Son Heung-min had an extraordinary season. He won the Premier League Golden Boot (alongside Mohamed Salah) with 24 goals.

16. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

After missing much of the 2020/21 season through injury, Van Dijk has re-emerged into the world’s best centre-back this season.

15. Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool)

Thiago has had his fair share of injury problems but he is a delight to watch when fully fit.

Thiago is among the 20 favourites for the 2022 Ballon d'Or
PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 28: Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League final match between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid at Stade de France on May 28, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

14. Luis Diaz (Liverpool)

Liverpool’s decision to sign Diaz in a ยฃ37.5m deal in January was an inspired one. He’s been electric for the Reds.

13. Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)

Nkunku directly contributed to a ridiculous 55 goals (35 goals, 20 assists) for RB Leipzig in 2021/22. A move to one of the world’s biggest clubs is on the cards.

12. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

Silva is a joy to watch. He more than played his part as Man City were crowned Premier League champions.

11. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Alexander-Arnold recorded 22 assists in the 2021/22 season. Absurd numbers for a full-back.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is among the 20 favourites for the 2022 Ballon d'Or
PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 28: Trent Alexander Arnold of Liverpool holds the ball during the UEFA Champions League final match between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid at Stade de France on May 28, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

10. Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Foden, now 22, is already one of the world’s best playmakers. he’s going to wreak havoc with Erling Haaland next season.

9. Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)

Courtois was quite incredible in the Champions League final, making nine saves to thwart Liverpool and help Real Madrid to the title.

8. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

De Bruyne started the season slowly but soon got into his stride, finishing the campaign with 20 goals and 18 assists.

Kevin De Bruyne is among the 20 favourites for the 2022 Ballon d'Or
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 22: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates with the Premier League trophy after their side finished the season as Premier League champions during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium on May 22, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

7. Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Modric will be 37 in a few months but remains one of the best centre midfielders in the world.

6. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)

Vinicius scored the only goal of the game in the Champions League final. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he ended his career with at least one Ballon d’Or trophy.

5. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

Mbappe recored 79 goal contributions in 2021/22 (48 goals, 31 assists). He has an outside chance of being crowned the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner but, even if he doesn’t win it, he is bound to win at least one in the future.

4. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Just the 56 goals in 2021/22 for the incredible striker. Lewandowski looks set to leave Bayern Munich this summer.

Robert Lewandowski is among the 20 favourites for the 2022 Ballon d'Or
WOLFSBURG, GERMANY – MAY 14: Robert Lewandowski of FC Bayern Muenchen celebrates after their side finished the season as Bundesliga champions during the Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and FC Bayern Mรผnchen at Volkswagen Arena on May 14, 2022 in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

3. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Salah won the Premier League Golden Boot and helped Liverpool to FA Cup and Carabao Cup triumphs.

2. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Mane scored the winning penalty for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations and helped Liverpool to two trophies. On an individual note, he scored 29 goals and recorded five assists.

1. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Just give Benzema the trophy now. He scored 47 goals and recorded 15 assists in 2021/22, while being integral as Real Madrid won La Liga and the Champions League. He continues to get better with age.

Among the players that don’t even make the top 20 include Erling Haaland, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

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