The French news magazine France Football recently published the shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or. Top players nominated include Karim Benzema, Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski, and more.
Seven-time winner and reigning champion Lionel Messi was not shortlisted. For the first time since 2005, the Argentinian is no longer among the prize hunters.
The 30-person list is further reduced to the final 5. The five final contenders will be determined by top journalists and FIFA’s top 100 nations.
The 30 players nominated for this award come from various top European clubs. We will, therefore, rank the three clubs with the most Ballon d’Or candidates.
3. Manchester City – Six Nominees
Manchester City has had a very successful 2021-22 season. Cityzens retained the league title and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, losing 6-5 on aggregate to eventual champions Real Madrid.
City has six players on the 30-man shortlist – Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, Joao Cancelo, and newcomer Erling Haaland. With the exception of Haaland, who just joined the club this year, the Ballon d’Or contenders played a key role in City’s success last season.
However, De Bruyne is undoubtedly the frontrunner for Manchester City’s Ballon d’Or. The player was Belgian and was City’s best player last season.
2. Liverpool – Six Nominees
Premier League giants Liverpool also have one of the most shortlisted players. The Reds have nominated six of his players for his 2022 Ballon d’Or. Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Virgil Van Dijk, Darwin Nunez, and Luis Diaz were nominated for the prestigious award for their performances last season.
Last season Liverpool won the domestic double (FA Cup and Carabao Cup) and reached the Champions League final.
Darwin Nunez was especially spectacular at Benfica before joining the Reds this summer. Last season he scored 34 goals and four assists in his 41 appearances and played a key role in leading Portugal to the quarter-finals of the League of Champions.
However, Salah is Liverpool’s frontrunner for the Ballon d’Or. The Egyptian right-winger has made 31 goals and 51 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side in the 2021-22 season and scored 16 assists.
1. Real Madrid – Six Ballon d’Or Nominees
Spanish and European champions Real Madrid also have six players on their 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist. They include Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Thibaut Courtois, Casemiro, Vinicius Jr. and Antonio Rudiger.
The Whites won their league title last season, his record-breaking 14th Champions League. They also won Spain’s La Liga, with his nine points clear of rivals Barcelona.
Madrid’s front line, with Benzema and Vinicius Jr., was one of Europe’s deadliest last season. Together the players contributed 101 goals.