The Ballon d’Or is the most prestigious individual prize in the world of football. Winning the award has to be a dream for every footballer, but only the very best in the business have been able to wrap their hands around the coveted trophy.
The Ballon d’Or is awarded by French news magazine France Football. The winner is chosen on the basis of a combination of votes from media representatives, national team coaches and captains.
We’ve had plenty of wonderful performers in 2022 already, but a few of them have definitely been a cut above the rest. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Ballon d’Or Power Rankings for June 2022.
#10 Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi had an underwhelming debut campaign at Paris Saint-Germain by his own lofty standards. The 35-year-old struggled to find his groove at his new club but still managed to do a decent job for them.
However, it was a man-of-the-match performance in the CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions clash, popularly known as the Finalissima, that has put Messi on this list. He also scored five goals in an international friendly against Estonia.
In 34 appearances across all competitions for PSG in the 2021-22 season, Messi scored 11 goals and provided 15 assists.
#9 Thibaut Courtois (Belgium/Real Madrid)
Thibaut Courtois’ performances played a big part in Real Madrid’s La Liga and Champions League triumphs this season. He was simply phenomenal between the sticks for Los Blancos in the Champions League final against Liverpool.
Courtois made nine saves in the Champions League final against Jurgen Klopp’s side and that was pretty much in line with his exploits for Real Madrid in La Liga. Courtois boasts the second-highest save percentage (76,7%) among goalkeepers in the Spanish top flight.
Winning the La Liga and Champions League titles combined with the consistency he has shown this season makes him a top contender for the Ballon d’Or.
#8 Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City)
Kevin De Bruyne has been Manchester City’s best player of the Pep Guardiola era. The Belgium international was incredible for them in the 2021-22 season as well. His exceptional playmaking and goalscoring abilities played a crucial role in helping City pip Liverpool to the Premier League title by just one point.
In 45 appearances across all competitions, De Bruyne scored 19 goals and provided 14 assists for Manchester City in the 2021-22 season. He is one of the best goalscoring midfielders in the world right now.
De Bruyne picked up the ‘Premier League Player of the Season’ award as well this term for his exploits. He scored a goal and produced an impressive performance for Belgium as they thumped Poland recently in a UEFA Nations League matchup (June 8).
He is definitely a top contender in the race for the 2022 Ballon d’Or.
#7 Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid)
Luka Modric showed over the course of the 2021-22 season that he is indeed one of the greatest midfielders of the 21st century. The 36-year-old played a massive role in Real Madrid’s triumphant runs in the La Liga and the Champions League.
Modric came up clutch on multiple occasions in the knockout phase of Real Madrid’s Champions League campaign. In 45 appearances across all competitions for Real Madrid, Modric scored three goals and provided 12 assists. The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner could yet find a place on the podium this year.
#6 Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris Saint-Germain)
Kylian Mbappe is an extremely talented forward. In fact, he might just be the best in the business when it comes to all-round ability. The 23-year-old continues to torment defenders with his blistering pace and trickery. He is as elusive and intimidating an attacker as any we’ve seen since the turn of the millennum.
Mbappe was in phenomenal form for PSG in the 2021-22 season, scoring a whopping 39 goals and providing 26 assists in 46 appearances across all competitions. He was the top scorer and top assist-provider in Ligue 1.
However, winning just the Ligue 1 title won’t give Mbappe much of a push in the race for the Ballon d’Or and that’s why he is not higher up on this list.
#5 Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool)
The way things were going for Mohamed Salah in the first half of the 2021-22 season, you’d think he was going to amble his way to the Ballon d’Or. However, his form tailed off in the second half of the season. But the Egypt international still finished the season with incredible numbers.
He won the FA Cup and the League Cup with Liverpool and made it to the final of the Champions League as well. He was a standout performer for Jurgen Klopp’s side as they raced Manchester City for the Premier League title until the very last day of the season. They missed out on it by just one point.
In 51 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool in the 2021-22 season, Salah scored 31 goals and provided 16 assists.
#4 Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich)
Robert Lewandowski had yet another wonderful season at an individual level. However, a lack of silverware apart from the Bundesliga title is likely to once again dampen his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or massively.
He scored 50 goals and provided seven assists in 46 appearances across all competitions for the Bavarians in the 2021-22 season. Lewandowski has picked up the European Golden Shoe for a second consecutive season as well.
The 33-year-old striker also played an important role in helping Poland secure World Cup qualification earlier this year. Lewandowski might once again miss out on a Ballon d’Or by margins.
#3 Sadio Mane (Senegal/Bayern Munich)
Sadio Mane has joined Bayern Munich after six successful seasons at Liverpool. The Senegal international started the 2021-22 season on an underwhelming note but kicked into gear eventually and was absolutely brilliant in the second half of the campaign.
Mane transitioned from winger to centre-forward over the course of last season and did so admirably. He also guided the Senegal national team to the AFCON 2021 title and was named the ‘Player of the Tournament’.
In 51 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool in the 2021-22 season, he scored 23 goals and provided five assists. Mane also won the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup and made it to the UEFA Champions League final as well.
All of these accomplishments make Mane a top contender in the 2022 Ballon d’Or race.
#2 Vinicius Jr. (Brazil/Real Madrid)
Vinicius Jr. was the most improved forward in Europe’s top five leagues in the 2021-22 season. The Brazil international was known to the world as a mercurial winger who could produce moments of magic but was far from the finished product.
But Vinicius doubled down on his strengths this past term and we saw him burgeon into one of the most fearsome forwards on the planet. He consistently got the better of defenders and his link-up play improved massively as well.
Vinicius also showed a great amount of composure when he was presented with goalscoring opportunities. The 21-year-old scored 22 goals and provided 20 assists in 52 appearances for Real Madrid this past season.
Having won the La Liga title and the Champions League title, Vinicius Jr. is expected to make the Ballon d’Or podium this time around.
#1 Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid)
Karim Benzema is the odds-on favorite to win the 2022 Ballon d’Or. The Frenchman was absolutely phenomenal for Real Madrid in the 2021-22 season and played some of the best football of his career.
He produced multiple match-winning performances for Real Madrid in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Benzema scored hat-tricks against PSG (Round of 16) and Chelsea (quarter-finals) and also bagged a brace and scored the winning goal against Manchester City (semi-finals).
The 34-year-old scored 44 goals and provided 15 assists in 46 appearances across all competitions for Real Madrid this past term. He was Real Madrid’s standout performer as they won the La Liga and Champions League titles.