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Individual awards in a team game are certainly a bugbear for some, but not for Cristiano Ronaldo. The Manchester United great has picked up five Ballon d’Ors in his career and you know nothing hurts him more than the fact his old foe Lionel Messi has two more in the cabinet than he does.
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Despite Ronaldo failing to win any silverware for his club this year, Paddy’s traders think he’s in the running to win the 2022 Ballon d’Or. It says a lot about the voting process but here we are. So, who’s rivalling Ronaldo for the crown in this calendar year?
Karim Benzema has had some off-field problems, let’s say, in recent years but that hasn’t stopped him banging in the goals for Real Madrid. He’s absolutely lit up the Champions League this season and if he can help Real win that and go deep in the World Cup with France he has a big chance.
Criminally overlooked in recent times, Mo Salah features prominently on our list despite never recording a top-three finish. Jorginho was 3rd in 2021 for crying out loud. The Egyptian King has been racking up the goals and trophies for Liverpool in recent seasons but missing out on the World Cup and losing the AFCON final will hurt his chances.
Sadio Mane has had a 2022 to remember, winning the Africa Cup of Nations, The Carabao Cup and FA Cup so far with the Premier League and Champions League yet to be decided. If Senegal can put up a good showing at the World Cup then he might have a real shout of taking the big golden ball.
Next up is PSG star, Kylian Mbappe. It’s surely only a matter of time before Mbappe wins the big one. He’s already got a World Cup winners’ medal in his trophy cabinet and if he could get his hands on another he’d be a massive contender.
No man has won more Ballon d’Ors than the Argentine genius Lionel Messi but surely even his biggest fans will struggle to get him enough votes on current Paris St-Germain form?
Five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo has slowly been slipping down the rankings and is rated as something of a long shot to triumph this year. Struggles with Manchester United aren’t helping the cause.
Robert Lewandowski has been bizarrely overlooked and is one who paid the price for the 2020 edition being scrapped because of Covid, even though all the games eventually went ahead. Lewandowski came 2nd in 2021 behind Lionel Messi who won it because, well, he’s Lionel Messi, I guess.
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