Based on current trends, Karim Benzema is the early favourite to win the Ballon d’Or in 2022. This season, the Real Madrid striker has been in a league of his own, and Carlo Ancelotti’s side would be experiencing a very different season if it weren’t for his services.
Karim Benzema came in fourth place in the 2021 Ballon d’Or competition. He has never won the most coveted individual award in football.
However, this could be Benzema’s year. The French striker has been in excellent form and has always astonished us with his exploits.
Benzema has already performed a number of heroics for Real Madrid this season, and he has been playing some of the greatest football of his career.
Nothing is certain, however, because there are a number of people doing incredibly well besides Benzema.
Without further ado, here are five players that could challenge Karim Benzema for the Ballon d’Or in 2022.
Sadio Mane has had an outstanding season. The Liverpool striker had a lacklustre season in 2020–21, and it appeared that he had passed his prime.
Mane, on the other hand, has made it his personal mission to disprove his critics this term. With the Senegalese national team, he won the AFCON earlier this year. Mane has also helped Liverpool win the League Cup.
In 43 appearances for the Merseysiders in all competitions, Mane has scored 19 goals and contributed three assists. Mane will become one of the favourites in the Ballon d’Or competition if he can win all of the eligible awards.
Manchester City’s finest player this season has been Kevin De Bruyne. Standing out among all of Pep Guardiola’s world-class talent is an accomplishment in and of itself.
De Bruyne is not only one of the most creative midfielders in the world, but he also has a knack for scoring goals. De Bruyne has 15 goals and 12 assists in 40 appearances for Manchester City in all competitions.
If De Bruyne can lead his team to Premier League and Champions League glory, he will be a genuine contender for the Ballon d’Or this year.
The 2020 Ballon d’Or was cancelled in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, so Robert Lewandowski was unable to compete. He performed admirably last year as well, but he finished second to Lionel Messi.
Bayern Munich’s Champions League exit in the quarter-finals against Villarreal would undoubtedly affect Lewandowski’s prospects of winning the Ballon d’Or. They have, however, cruised to another Bundesliga crown, and the Poland international’s statistics are outstanding.
So far this season, the 33-year-old has a total of 48 goals and six assists in 43 games for the Bavarians in all competitions.
At the individual level, Kylian Mbappe has had yet another outstanding season.
He has been by far Paris Saint-Germain’s best player this season. Mbappe has scored 33 goals and given 22 assists in 42 games for PSG this season across all competitions.
Mbappe will put himself in front of the line for this year’s Ballon d’Or if he can continue to tap into this rich vein of form.
On the right wing, the Egyptian international has been a revelation for Jurgen Klopp’s side. His explosive pace, close control, and final-third decision-making have helped Liverpool become one of Europe’s most intimidating offensive groups.
Salah has 30 goals and 13 assists in 43 games for Liverpool in all competitions so far this season.
Salah may easily become the leader of this year’s Ballon d’Or if Liverpool goes on to win more trophies. Salah is projected to give Benzema a run for his money in the 2022 Ballon d’Or race, even without the trophies.