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Ballon d’Or 2022 power rankings: Benzema ousts Lewandowski

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  • Following the Ballon d’Or change of rules, the award will be based on performances over a single season rather than a calendar year
  • The new Ballon d’Or rules could jeopardize Lionel Messi’s ambitions for an eighth award, while Ronaldo is also not likely to win this year
  • Karim Benzema has overthrown Robert Lewandowski after champions league heroics

The Ballon d’Or remains the most prestigious individual award in international football, despite the controversy and criticism it creates, and the race to win the honour in 2022 is well and firmly underway.

Starting this year, France Football has introduced significant adjustments to the criteria for the Ballon D’Or award. So far, it appears that Messi and Ronaldo will not be able to win it this year.

In recent years, the Argentine and Portuguese stars have dominated the award, winning 12 of the last 13 years, except for Luka Modric in 2018.

The countdown to the Ballon d’Or 2022 has begun, with new rules unveiled – which may jeopardize Lionel Messi’s aspirations for an eighth award.

The famous trophy will be awarded for the prior season rather than a calendar year, beginning in 2022, with the ceremony rescheduled for autumn.

This means performances at the 2022 World Cup, which is set to kick off in November, will not be considered this year and instead will be judged when voting for the 2023 Ballon d’Or gets underway.

  In the future, only 100 journalists from FIFA’s top-ranked century of nations will be able to vote, while a journalist from the top 50 will vote for the women’s prize.

We’re halfway into the 2021/22 season, and the Ballon d’Or favourites list is already shaping.

7. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Last time: 14th

In 2021-22: 15 goals, 12 assists.

debruyne

Kevin De Bruyne. Photo: Getty Images

De Bruyne has scored six goals in as many games, demonstrating why many believe he is the best midfielder globally.

Over the previous week, the Belgium international scored the game-winning goals against Atletico Madrid and Liverpool. If Man City wins the triple, he might still make a late push for the Ballon d’Or.

6. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Last time: 6th

In 2021-22: 22 goals, four assists. Won Africa Cup of Nations & Carabao Cup.

Ballon dOr 2022 power rankings

Sadio Mane. Photo: Getty Images

Mane did not get all of the attention this week, but he was in the correct position at the right time for Liverpool, scoring against both Benfica and Man City.

Only time will tell how important his equalizer at the Etihad Stadium is in the Premier League title battle.

5. Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Last time: 5th

In 2021-22: Six goals, ten assists. Won Supercopa de Espana.

MODRIC

Luka Modric. Photo: Eurosport

Karim Benzema received yet another magnificent assist from Modric against Chelsea as the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner continued to dazzle in the Champions League.

His importance to Carlo Ancelotti’s side was highlighted by his inclusion on the bench for Saturday’s victory over Getafe.

On Tuesday, Los Blancos wanted to keep their star midfielder under wraps ahead of the defending European champions’ return match.

4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

Last time: 4th

In 2021-22: 40 goals, 27 assists. Won UEFA Nations League.

Kylian Mbappe 2021 FTD scaled

Kylian Mbappe. Photo:Sky SPorts

Whether or not Kylian Mbappe leaves Paris Saint-Germain this summer, he appears to be eager to end the season on a high note.

Mbappe has a whopping ten direct goal involvements in his previous two games, and even though the opposition has not been perfect, he has been eager to put them to the sword.

3. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Last time3rd

In 2021-2230 goals, 15 assists. Won Carabao Cup.

Ballon dOr 2022 power rankings

Mohamed Salah. Photo: MARCA

Salah hasn’t scored from open play since mid-February, but his assist for Sadio Mane’s goal against Manchester City hinted that his undoubted class hasn’t gone unnoticed.

For the time being, he remains ahead of Kylian Mbappe in these rankings, owing to the trophies he could yet win and his influence on Liverpool winning them.

2. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Last time: 1st

In 2021-22: 52 goals, eight assists. Won DFL-Supercup

lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski. Photo: Eurosport

After being kept quiet by Villarreal in Bayern’s quarter-final first-leg defeat in Spain, Lewandowski will need to show more magic in front of goal if the Bavarians reach the Champions League semi-finals.

On Saturday, the Poland international scored a late winner against Augsburg to keep his side’s nine-point advantage at the top of the Bundesliga standings.

1.Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Last time2nd

 2021-2240 goals, 13 assists. Won UEFA Nations League & Supercopa de Espana

Ballon dOr 2022 power rankings

Benzema celebrates a hat trick during a UCL match agains Chelsea. Photo: CBS Sports

The Frenchman hasn’t won France Football’s prestigious prize since Zinedine Zidane in 1998, but Benzema has put himself firmly in the driver’s seat as the race for the 2022 honour reaches its vital weeks.

With his hat-trick against Chelsea, he has now given two of the season’s most impressive individual displays, while his goals are also propelling Real Madrid towards the Spanish title.

 

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