The 66th edition of the prestigious Ballon d’Or awards by France football was presented on 17th October at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. Back on the 12th of August, the 30 Nominees for the 2022 Ballon d’Or were announced. Surprisingly, this was the first time both Ronaldo and Messi were not present on the podium since 2005. While the Portuguese star was ranked 20th, the Argentine did not even make the 30-man list after a tough debut spell at PSG. The 2022 Ballon d’Or awards featured a total of seven awards including some new additions.
This year, the rules for the Ballon d’Or were amended as France Football decided the award to be based on a single football season rather than the usual calendar year. Anyways, the 2022 Ballon d’Or awards were quite special as it featured former legends of the sports and club presidents. This year continued La Liga’s domination of the award as no player outside of Spain has won the award since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008.
Click here to know about the fastest hat tricks in UEFA Champions League.
Men’s Ballon d’Or
Real Madrid’s number 9, Karim Benzema bagged the award becoming the second oldest player to win the award at 34 years of age. The Frenchman had a spectacular season in which he won La Liga and the Champions League with Los Blancos. He also finished as the top scorer in both competitions. On the international stage he managed to lift the UEFA Nations league with France.
Sadio Mane and Kevin De Bruyne were the other two names on the top 3 podium. While both players had an incredible season with their respective clubs they just didn’t have as much of an impact as the Frenchman had for Real Madrid.
Women’s Ballon d’Or
FCB Femini’s Captain, Alexia Putellas won herself, her second and consecutive Ballon d’Or, the only women’s player to achieve such a feat. Putellas scored 33 goals and provided 18 assists for FC Barcelona last season. She led FCB to the UEFA Champions League final and led them to a record-breaking league season where they went undefeated winning all 30 matches.
Named after, Lev Yashin, the only goalkeeper to ever win the Ballon d’Or. Yashin Trophy was awarded to Thibaut Courtois after an incredible season for Real Madrid. Courtois stepped up for Los Blancos in key moments throughout the campaign
Pablo Gavi of FC Barcelona recieved the Kopa Trophy for being the best young player for the 2021-22 season. Now 18 years old, Gavi succeeded his teammate Pedri who won the prize last year. Not only did Gavi show his quality at club level, he also he also became Spain’s youngest-ever goal scorer.
Gerd Muller Award
Robert Lewandowski of FC Barcelona player won the Gerd Muller Award for being the best striker for the 2021-22 season. Last season, the Polish striker scored a total of 50 goals for Bayern Munich. He even broke the record set by Gerd Muller himself for scoring the most goals in a single Bundesliga season with 41 in 34 matches.
Club of the Year
Manchester City was named club of the year for having the most nominations across all categories. Manchester City had 7 nominated players, including Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne, Ederson, Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, Lucy Bronze, and Phil Foden. City’s Chief Executive Ferran Soriano and Director of Football Txiki Begiristain were on the stage to collect the award.
Sadio Mane received the Socrates award for the best social initiative. This includes the development of his hometown conditions in Casamance and donating to children by building schools and hospitals. The Senegalese man is also the global ambassador for the children’s aid organization Right to Play.
For more news and information on the FIFA World Cup 2022, Keep reading The SportsLite
Have a good day ahead 🙂