The race for the 2022 Ballon d’Or is on.
The Frenchman was absolutely sensational throughout the 2021/22 season. In his 46 appearances across all competitions, he bagged 39 goals and notched 26 assists.
That return is quite simply phenomenal and it’s why Mbappe is tipped by some to make the podium at the Ballon d’Or trophy ceremony in October.
However, it’s very unlikely the 23-year-old will triumph overall in the voting, as the award has Karim Benzema’s name written all over it.
Real Madrid‘s talisman played football from another planet last season and was the main reason why the club claimed a La Liga and Champions League double.
If Benzema doesn’t win the Ballon d’Or for the very first time, it’ll be nothing short of a travesty.
Even Mbappe, his partner-in-crime on international duty, is well aware of that fact…
Mbappe on Benzema’s Ballon d’Or chances
“I would say that this year is a success for Benzema,” Mbappe said in a recent interview with France Football.
“He’s 34 years old, has just had the season of his life, has won another Champions League and is often decisive… If I were Karim, if I don’t win this, I’ll stop thinking about the Ballon d’Or forever.”
Fair play, Kylian.
Mbappe was also asked to name his top three for the 2022 Ballon d’Or.
Mbappe’s top three for the 2022 Ballon d’Or
The PSG striker added: “My top three? I would say Benzema, myself, and [Sadio] Mane.”
Mane scored the winning penalty in the final shootout against Egypt and was named Player of the Tournament.
Mbappe on winning the Ballon d’Or in the future
For years now, Mbappe has been tipped as a future Ballon d’Or winner and he’s determined to get his hands on the coveted golden ball as soon as possible.
”I want to win the Ballon d’Or very soon,” he said. “Like many. Except that there are perhaps not many who dare to admit it. I’m still convinced that the hardest thing is to win the first.”
“I think that my 18-21 year old period allowed me to stabilise in the Top 10. I wasn’t an impactful enough player. For the last two years, I think I have reached a new level, I have a more assertive status on the pitch, I am doing better in the decisive matches. In short, I am a more credible and serious candidate.”
If he can guide either France to World Cup glory or PSG to Champions League success in the next 12 months or so, Mbappe may very well win the Ballon d’Or in 2023.