Karim Benzema has emerged as the 66th Ballon d’Or winner beating the likes of Sadio Mane and Kevin De Bruyne.
After spending years in the shadows of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the 34-year-old has become a superstar in his own right over the past few seasons in La Liga.
The Frenchman scored a career-high 44 goals in all competitions as Real Madrid won La Liga, the Supercopa de Espana and the coveted UEFA Champions League.
If that wasn’t enough, Benzema also starred for France as he made his return to the national team in sensational fashion.
He scored in the 2021 UEFA Nations League final, and was named player of the match as France defeated Spain 2-1 and finished 2021 with an impressive nine goals from 13 matches for Les Bleus.
Coutois wins Yachine trophy
Real Madrid goalie, Thibaut Courtois, has won the Yashin Trophy. Courtois was in fine form for Madrid last season and played a crucial role in his side’s trophy-laden campaign.
The 30-year-old Madrid No 1 kept 22 cleansheets across all competitions for Los Blancos and only conceded 46 times.
Lewandowski wins the Muller Trophy
Robert Lewandowski has won the Muller Trophy, recognising the best striker in the world throughout the 2021/22 campaign.
Former called the ‘Striker of the Year’ award, France Football renamed it to honour legendary German marksman Gerd Muller who passed away in August 2021.
Lewa has won the gong for a second straight year – retaining the prize that was seemingly created solely to appease the player after being snubbed for the 2021 Ballon d’Or award – after another stunning season in front of goal.
In 2021/22, the Polish striker scored a remarkable 50 goals in just 46 appearances in all competitions for Bayern, earning himself his second consecutive European Golden Shoe and breaking the record for most goals by a foreign player in the Bundesliga.
The striker has since made the move to Barcelona over the summer and has continued to score goals at a stunning rate. Lewa has already bagged 14 goals in 13 games for his new club.
Congrats Gavi! Your new Tropha Kopy winner!
Barcelona star Alexia Putellas has won the 2022 Ballon d’Or Feminin, the second time she has earned the prize in her career.
Putellas won the Ballon d’Or Feminin in 2021 for her outstanding performances for Barca and Spain, and has retained the award in 2022 following yet another brilliant campaign in 2021/22.
The Barcelona captain scored 28 goals in 37 games in all competitions throughout the season and won a sixth Liga F title and a seventh Copa de la Reina of her career.
Putellas and Barca also managed to reach a second consecutive UEFA Women’s Champions League final but shockingly lost 3-1 to Lyon in the final at Allianz Stadium. During their run in Europe, Barca were able to draw record numbers to games, even selling out Camp Nou for a quarter-final clash with arch rivals Real Madrid.
Sadly, we don’t expect to see Putellas on a football field anytime soon after she ruptured her ACL on the eve of Euro 2022 – a tournament which Spain were knocked out of in the quarter-final by eventual winners England.
🔴 Live Blog
Congrats Gavi! Your new Tropha Kopy winner!
It’s another Barcelona winner of the Kopa Trophy! Pedri awards it to his team-mate, 18-year-old Gavi who already has 12 caps for Spain.
Didier Drogba tells Pedri and Gavi that they remind him of Xavi and Iniesta, asking the youngsters which one of those Barcelona legends they are.
They both go quiet, deciding it’s best not to answer questions about their current manager. Wise.
The trophy is here
Mbappe is in the building
The man of the moment!
Ronaldo declares his winner!
Football Royalty in the building!
The Madrid Contingent
Hosts for the night
History for Son
Heung-min Son finished 11th in the voting. That’s the highest Ballon d’Or finish ever by a male Asian player, reward for his fine season for Tottenham.
Sadio Mane is arrives!
KDB is in the building!
The Manchester City star has not yet had his ranking announced by France Football, so we know for sure he’s in the top ten of the voting.
Where in the top ten remains to be seen, but De Bruyne scored 15 times in the Premier League season with eight assists to go with that. When he’s fit, he delivers.
Sébastien Haller arrives the venue
The Ballon d’Or ranking begins!
Balon d’Or have started tweeting the official rankings in the build-up to this evening’s ceremony.
Heung-min Son just misses out on a place in the top-ten of voting. He’s 11th, beating Tottenham team-mate Harry Kane by ten places.
It was 23 Premier League goals for the Spurs forward last season, giving him a share of the Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah as he helped fire his club back into the Champions League.
Getting towards the business end of the list now. Liverpool’s Fabinho is in at 14th alongside AC Milan’s Rafael Leao.
Another Liverpool player in early as Virgil Van Dijk grabs 16th spot. A tough season so far for the Dutchman but fresh off a clean sheet against Manchester City.
Liverpool’s Luis Diaz, Juve’s Dusan Vlahovic and Manchester United’s Casemiro come in at 17th.
A familiar name when it comes to the Ballon d’Or – Cristiano Ronaldo. He is 20th in the voting, picking up 18 nominations.
That’s as low as the five-time winner has finished since 2005, when he was also in 20th. He’s expected to be in Paris tonight for the ceremony, but it’s fair to say Ronaldo won’t be in a celebratory mood.
Harry Kane is 21st in the 2022 Ballon d’Or voting. He scored 27 goals in all competitions last season for Tottenham, having started the campaign pushing for a move away from the club. Kane swiftly put that behind him though and found his goalscoring form.
In a tie for 22nd, we have Bernardo Silva, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Phil Foden. The Premier League trio all received two nominations.
In 25th place…it’s a tie!
We’ve got Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo, Bayern’ Munich’s Joshua Kimmich, AC Milan goalie Mike Maignan, Real Madrid man Antonio Rudiger, Liverpool’s pass-shy striker Darwin Nunez and RB Leipzig’s gossip column regular Christopher Nkunku.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won 12 of the last 13 Ballon d’Ors – with Real Madrid’s Luka Modric winning as the sole outlier in 2018 – but Messi was not even nominated for the 2022 award. Karim Benzema is the hot favourite to win the men’s award while Alexia Putellas of Barcelona – despite missing out on Euro 2022 due to injury – is expected to win the women’s award, with competition from England and Arsenal’s Beth Mead amongst others.
How would the winners be judged?
There have been some slight changes to the Ballon d’Or for this year which may change your view on who should win the award when the winner is announced on Monday.
Traditionally, the Ballon d’Or is presented to the best player over a 12-month period from January to December. However, for this year and beyond, this has changed to the award being based on the previous season. This is the period from August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022.
It’s the reason why Lionel Messi hasn’t been nominated for the Ballon d’Or for the first time since 2005 after his poor campaign with Paris Saint-Germain.
“Inevitably, Lionel Messi, with his 15 appearances in a row since 2006, his seven Ballon d’Or victories, his title holder status, weighs very heavily when it comes to the final choice,” France Football’s deputy editor-in-chief Emmanuel Bojan explained.
“The Argentinian was part of the discussions to integrate the 30, but the new criteria for the Ballon d’Or were unfavourable to him: disappearance of the criterion of a player’s entire career, and new periodicity, modelled on a season of football and no longer over a calendar year, which does not make it possible to integrate the Copa America of July 11, 2021.
“And then, it must be admitted that his first season in Paris was very disappointing both in terms of the visual impression and the statistics.”