We are mere days away from finding out who are the nominees for the 2022 Ballon d'Or as France Football prepare to release the shortlist on Friday, August 12 2022 for the men's and women's prizes.
The shortlist for the men's award will contain 30 names while the women's award will be made up of 20 players. The 10-player shortlists will also be announced for the Yashin (best goalkeeper) and Kopa (best under-21 player) awards on Friday. The actual awards will be handed out at a gala event that will take place at the Theatre du Chatelet, in Paris on October 17, 2022 some 66 days after the announcement of the shortlists.
The criteria for the awards has changed this year; rather than being awarded for excellence over a calendar year, the nominations will be based on a player's performance over a typical football season - so from August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022.
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The Ballon d'Or - or Golden Ball - is awarded by France Football and was conceived by Gabriel Hanot and Jacques Ferran. The award was first presented in 1956 - Stanley Matthews of Blackpool won it with Alfredo Di Stefano and Raymond Kopa both of Real Madrid second and third. Originally, the award was open to just European players, but in 1995 the criteria was expanded to players of any nationality playing at a European club, and then in 2007 it was expanded again to become a global award. The first women's Ballon d'Or was awarded in 2018.
Between 2010 and 2015, France Football and FIFA brought their respective awards - the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year - together under the guise of the FIFA Ballon d'Or. That partnership ended in 2017.
When are the 2022 Ballon d'Or nominees revealed?
The 2022 Ballon d'Or nominees shortlist will be released on Friday, August 12 2022 with L'Equipe presenting the nominees for the men and women's Ballon d'Or, and the Yashin and Kopa awards between 17:30 to 21:00 UK time.
How can I follow the 2022 Ballon d'Or shortlist being revealed?
Eurosport.co.uk will run a live blog across the whole day. To keep up to day with every nominee, every announcement and the final shortlists, follow our 2022 Ballon d'Or nominees live blog on eurosport.co.uk starting at 08:00.
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When is the 2022 Ballon d'Or?
The 2022 Ballon d'Or winners will be announced at an event in Paris on October 17, 2022.
Who will win the 2022 Ballon d'Or?
In his latest Power Rankings for Eurosport, the excellent Michael Hincks had these 10 players in his top fives.
- 5. Ada Hegerberg (Lyon & Norway)
- 4. Wendie Renard (Lyon & France)
- 3. Beth Mead (Arsenal & England)
- 2. Sam Kerr (Chelsea & Australia)
- 1. Alexia Putellas (Barcelona & Spain)
- 5. Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid & Brazil)
- 4. Kylian Mbappe (PSG & France)
- 3. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt)
- 2. Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich & Senegal)
- 1. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid & France)
As Hincks outlines, England's success in Euro 2022 could catapult Player of the Tournament and Golden Boot winner Beth Mead into the mix for the 2022 Ballon d’Or but it is hard to look past Alexia Putellas' incredible season for Barcelona.
Karim Benzema remains the other favourite after a stunning season that helped Real Madrid win both La Liga and the Champions League.
Will Lionel Messi win the 2022 Ballon d'Or?
Right now Lionel Messi is not the favourite for the 2022 Ballon d'Or. The Argentine superstar struggled a bit with PSG in his first season and we're a long way away from his Copa America win with Argentina. Plus the World Cup is taking place after the award is announced.
However, he has started the new French season extremely well. He has three goals and an assist in PSG's two emphatic wins to open the season. Of course the highlight of that was this outrageous goal against Clermont.
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