His saves from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were stunning, and after making key interventions throughout Madrid's run to the trophy, there are few players who deserved to lift the European Cup more than the Belgium No.1. Check out the new Adidas X SPEEDPORTAL boots that have dropped with Rick and Morty featured in the launch, Liverpool fans yet to be consulted in inquiry into Champions League final chaos, Liverpool defender Rhys Williams joins Blackpool on loan, Englands decision not to rest players at Euro 2022 backed by team data provider, Fantasy Premier League: The 4 best-value defenders in FPL, Subscribe to the Worlds #1 football magazine, Try a single issue or save on a subscription, Issues delivered straight to your door or device. In 2021-22: 57 goals, 12 assists. In 2021-22: 14 goals, 15 assists. Had it not been for a hip flexor injury earlier in the season, he could be giving Robert Lewandowski a run for his money right now. So, as we await more information on when and how France Football are going to proceed with their new-look Ballon dOr, we wanted to assess the lay of the land and ponder who deserves the title the most. Modric put in yet another virtuoso performance in the Champions League final, with the Croatian star showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 36. 9 After Serious Health Diagnosis. When Fabio Cannavaro beat Gianluigi Buffon and Thierry Henry to the Ballon dOr in 2006, little did we know that this would be the most recent year without at least one of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi making the top three. Look, with all due to respect to these players who are all world-class and could easily win the Ballon dOr one day theres not a chance in hell that theyre getting anywhere near the golden football this year. Hes been quietly putting away the goals and assists to help the club top LaLiga. "August","September","October","November","December") Future US, Inc. Full 7th Floor, 130 West 42nd Street, Since 2007, Messi has made the podium every year bar 2018, while Ronaldo has only missed out in 2010 and 2021. That means, regardless of any joy Messi or Ronaldo may have on the international stage, their domestic campaigns have left them trailing with the bookmakers when it comes to the Ballon dOr, with one standout candidate expected to claim the award. Still, the Egypt star's superb form in the first half of the season, when he was undoubtedly the best player on the planet, should not be forgotten by the Ballon d'Or judges, even if he struggled to maintain that level throughout the whole campaign. Barca finally get letter W back. It remains to be seen, though, whether he will get the credit he deserves from Ballon d'Or voters given his lack of name recognition. Won Bundesliga & DFL-Supercup. It would be quicker to list the games where Benzema has not scored this season, for on top of his 15 Champions League goals, a tally of 26 in 30 league games has helped Real reclaim La Liga from rivals Atletico Madrid. In the last 30 days, football pundits, present and past players, present and past football managers, among others, have been vying for their preferred football star that should win the Ballon d Or this year. Like, maybe? Surely that's an achievement that even France Football wouldn't overlook especially if he manages a couple of winning goals in finals, For a limited time, you can getfive copiesof FourFourTwo for just 5 (opens in new tab), Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access, Enjoy your first month for just 1 / $1 / 1, *Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription. He's also notched eight goals in his first seven Champions League games and with Liverpool expected to go far in Europe, that number can only increase. There is not a player who even comes close to the Real Madrid striker in terms of impact on the 2021-22 European season, and he will rightfully lift the Golden Ball at October's ceremony. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) 5/1, 4. At least, thats what the new rules implemented by France Football back in March suggest with the coveted title now set to be informed by performances over a season as opposed to a calendar year. And while Courtois chances will have risen exponentially on the back of a masterclass in the Champions League final, its hard to imagine the voters being swayed so much by one match as to give him the trophy. Won DFB-Pokal. So, strap yourselves in and await the next steps as we rub our hands together in anticipation to see who will be crowned the finest male player of the 2021/22 season its got to be Benzema, hasnt it? Lets not pretend as though that fact alone doesnt give them a slightly better chance of winning. One question here: Why are Mbappe and De Bruyne so high on the list? Won Africa Cup of Nations, FA Cup & Carabao Cup. document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. 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Oh, and Benzema was a part of that Nations League win, too, with a goal in the final. In 2021-22: 23 goals, 10 assists.
The Ballon d'Or 2022 countdown starts now, with new reforms announced which might scupper Lionel Messi's plans of an eighth award. It remains unclear just how fit Thiago truly was for the Champions League final, but the Liverpool midfielder did not put in anything close to the kind of performance he is capable of in Paris as the Reds were beaten by Real Madrid. The France international netted 47 goals and registered 15 assists in all competitions for Real Madrid. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) 8/1, 4. GOAL takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours involving Manchester United, GOAL takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours from around the world, The Poland striker is the marquee arrival at Camp Nou this summer - but the club were unable to sell strips with his name on for a bizarre reason, Man Utd transfers LIVE: Red Devils ready to wait for De Jong, Lewy's back in stock! Please refresh the page and try again. He did not score in the final against Liverpool, but Benzema has likely done enough to win the Ballon dOr, and it would make him only the second player since 2008 to win the prize that isnt named Messi or Ronaldo his Real teammate Luka Modric breaking that duopoly when winning in 2018. Your email address will not be published. While Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo have arguably been better than KDB, never underestimate the headline-maker to steal the plaudits. The same could go for Kevin De Bruyne, who has the shortest odds of any Manchester City player but is out of contention after their semi-final exit to Real Madrid that despite his unstoppable exploits in the Premier League. Another, surely, will follow at PSG. Bayern stormed to a tenth title in a row though their quarter-final Champions League exit will damage his case. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) He won the UEFA Nations League, Supercopa de Espana, the Champions League trophy, and the LaLiga title. Courtois' Man-of-the-Match winning display in the Champions League final only moved to cement his status as the best goalkeeper in the world over the past season. In 2021-22: Two goals, five assists. Won Premier League. There was a problem. Talks with Barcelona have already begun, but a potential move to Camp Nou is unlikely to be straightforward. document.write(" CITE THIS PAGE: "+ author + ", "" + document.title + "." Topend Sports Website, "+ published + ", "+ url + ", Accessed " + md.getDate()+" " + months[md.getMonth()] + " " + md.getFullYear()); Ok, truth be told, its still hard to see either of these players lifting the trophy, but at least it wouldnt be such an earth-shattering shock that people would be rioting on the streets. Van Dijk returned to the Liverpool line up for the Champions League final, and though he barely put a foot wrong in Paris, could not help the Reds claim their seventh European Cup. Germany are eight-time Women's European champions - so why were they written off before England 2022? Kevin De Bruyne came into form at just the right time. Nominated for AIPS Awards, Football Content Awards and Lincolnshire 30 Under 30. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) 8/1, 4. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Robert Lewandowski has won the brand new Striker of the Year award at the 2021 Ballon d'Or ceremony, while Chelsea have been handed the title of best club. Many would have backed Diaz to win his individual battle with Dani Carvajal in the Champions League final, but the Real Madrid full-back stepped up to keep the Colombian quiet, which in turn led to him being substituted midway through the second half. He just can't stop scoring. The answer is yes, but he will need PSG to raise their game in the Champions League, and perhaps win another World Cup in Qatar, if he is to take the crown in 2023. Sadio Mane, Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah. Each and every touted candidate will be placed in one of Absolutely no chance, Seismic shock, Outside chance, Genuine contender and Deserving winner based on the opinion of yours truly. His trophy haul, as well as the help of recency bias, should help the Senegal international finish on the Ballon d'Or podium, but the wait for a first African winner since George Weah in 1995 is set to continue. Check out the 800+ sports in the Encyclopedia of Every Sport. The Bundesliga Player of the Season and a goalscorer in RB Leipzig's DFB-Pokal final triumph, Nkunku has had an individual season that can stand up to almost any other player's on the planet. In what now looks likely to be his final game in a Liverpool shirt, Mane came within Thibaut Courtois' fingertips of opening the scoring in the Champions League final, with a strike that would have crowned his superb 2022.