Messi has zero chances, Benzema breaks into the lead. Rating of contenders for the “Golden Ball

Who is the best soccer player on the planet right now?

The Golden Ball will be awarded in a new way

 Despite the many controversies and criticisms of France Football due to the organization of the Ballon d’Or in recent years, this individual award still holds the status of the most prestigious in world football. The Ballon d’Or has a history and an aura that does not allow putting an end to it, despite the seemingly unfair results of the latest ceremonies.

 In March, France Football announced a change in the criteria for awarding the Ballon d’Or. We decided to improve the quality of respondents by limiting the circle of voters with a FIFA rating: only representatives from the top 100 ranking of national teams will be polled. They insist that now individual achievements are more important than team titles when evaluating nominees, behind the scenes this item has been called the “Law of Jorginho”. However, nothing changes here: after all, Jorginho did not receive the Ballon d’Or even under the old regulations, and it will not be possible to completely ignore the contribution of the players to the victories of the teams.

Well, and most importantly: the presentation of the “Golden Ball” is postponed from winter to summer. Now football players will be assessed not by calendar years, but by European football seasons, which take place according to the “autumn-spring” system. Thus, the contenders for the prize have less than two months left to influence the results of voting for the Golden Ball, the results of the club season will be decisive, and the performances at the 2022 World Cup will be assessed as early as 2023.

Messi, like Ronaldo, is no longer a Ballon d’Or contender❗️

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If we were to make a long list of contenders for the Golden Ball, then Ronaldo would be slightly higher than the current owner. The place of the Portuguese is approximately at the junction of the second and third dozens, and Leo runs the risk of not even getting into the top 50. The difficulties of Manchester United leave their mark, but Cristiano, at 37, is having an unshameful season in England (18 goals in 32 matches), while his eternal rival did not help the over-ambitious PSG overcome the 1/8 finals of the Champions League, and indeed often plays for the Parisians as if by force. Three goals scored in Ligue 1 is also an indicator, although there have already been a dozen assists. Disappointment with the current owner of the Golden Ball is evident, the fans of Paris Saint-Germain are not shy in expressions.

Top 10 contenders for the Golden Ball❗️

 If we talk about those who are on the outskirts of the top ten, then we need to mention Erling Haaland (injuries prevented the Norwegian from being higher), Christian Nkunku, who is having a great season at RB Leipzig, Trent Alexander-Arnold from Liverpool and a few other guys from ” Manchester City” who share the glory of the big crowd – Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling. Without a doubt, Thomas Müller, Sebastian Aller, who scored in seven Champions League matches in a row, and Dusan Vlahovic deserves mention.

10. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City; England) = 14+8 in 35 matches*

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The Belgian has had a rough start to the season, but in 2022 he is back at his best and once again playing a key role at Manchester City. It was Kevin’s goal that brought the “townspeople” a victory over Atlético Madrid in the difficult quarter-final match of the Champions League. Reaching the Ballon d’Or will be difficult, but could move up to the top 5 if City wins the Premier League and the Champions League and De Bruyne plays a big role in those successes.

 *hereinafter, performance statistics in games for the club are indicated.

9. Diogo Jota (Liverpool; Portugal) = 20+3 in 41 matches

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Jota decides, and not only in games for the club, he also helped the Portuguese national team reach the 2022 World Cup, noting himself with effective actions in the play-offs against Turkey and North Macedonia. In other matches, Diogo becomes the most valuable player in Liverpool’s attack, and he still misses a lot of chances. If he pulls up the implementation, he will plug Salah and Mane into the belt.

 8. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City, Algeria) = 22+7 in 37 games

Messi has zero chances, Benzema breaks into the lead. Rating of contenders for the "Golden Ball - The surprising price that Manchester City has put on Riyad

 It is difficult to single out Manchester City players personally: Guardiola is doing well, but the system is more important than personalities. Nevertheless, we can’t ignore Mahrez’s statistics: the most productive “citizen” this season has already scored 22 goals and made 7 assists. The next effective action will be on the 30th.

 7. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid, Brazil) = 17 + 15 in 41 matches

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 Vinicius has improved significantly in 2021/22, but he still has tremendous room for growth: he can become the best player in the world if he accumulates experience and learns composure. But even at the age of 21, the Brazilian is the second most important player in Real Madrid’s attack, Vini already has 30+ effective actions in a season.

 6. Sadio Mane (Liverpool; Senegal) = 15+7 in 38 matches

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Sadio Mane lacks goals and assists to get close to the top, but he has team successes that cannot be ignored: he won the Africa Cup of Nations with his team, and also made it to the 2022 World Cup, scoring decisive penalties on both occasions. These episodes make the humble Sadio a national hero.

 5. Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia) = 3+8 in 36 matches

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 Attacking players always have more chances for individual awards, although Modric has already taken one Ballon d’Or, breaking the usual routine. An individual game is not only goals and assists, although we remember Luka’s excellent scoring passes against PSG and Chelsea. Modric is a great architect of the game, and age is not a hindrance to him.

 4. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool; Egypt) = 28 + 10 in 38 matches

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 Nearly four dozen goalscoring actions by Salah are very cool, but Mo lost the decisive matches with the national team, and scored great statistics at the end of last year, in the decisive phase of the season it is not at all impressive: suffice it to say that he only has 3 goals in the game for ” Liverpool” in 2022. However, we do not discount Salah, because he has a magnificent statistical base, and if he gives out powerful April and May, wins big trophies with the Reds, then who knows …

 3. Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain; France) = 28+20 in 38 matches

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 Mbappé is having a great season despite his future being decided behind the scenes. If Neymar and Messi helped out more, Mbappe could also be a top contender for the Ballon d’Or, but after an early Champions League exit, Kylian ran out of arguments with two colleagues who, apparently, will play the award.

 2. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern, Poland) = 45+4 in 39 games

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MUNICH, GERMANY – MARCH 19: Robert Lewandowski of FC Bayern Muenchen celebrates after scoring their team’s third goal from the penalty spot during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and 1. FC Union Berlin at Allianz Arena on March 19, 2022 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

 Lewandowski is once again close to the Ballon d’Or, but he needs to make a decisive effort in the Champions League to get ahead of Benzema. No matter how the new rules downplay the importance of team trophies, the two best forwards in Europe will be judged by the Champions League.

 1. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid; France) = 37 + 12 in 36 matches

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 And to date, the emotional advantage is on the side of Benzema, who won the favor of the crowd with hat-tricks against PSG and Chelsea. In terms of goals, Robert is ahead, but Karim is more than the finisher, so we see equality in terms of the number of effective actions. Well, the aesthetic component, perhaps, for the Frenchman. And for him the victory in the League of Nations with the French team with goals against the Belgians and Spaniards. This is another trump card for Benzema, but it will come into play if the Champions League does not give a clear answer to the question of which of them is better in the 2021/22 season?

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