It’s already a first meeting for football fans. If the winner of Ballon d’Or 2022 won’t be known until October 17 next, the list of nominees for the most prestigious individual award will be revealed this Friday, August 12. Several French players candidates to appear in this selection, a Blue could even win the title.
Four Frenchmen – Raymond Kopa, Michel Platini, Jean-Pierre Papin, Zinédine Zidane – have already lifted the trophy. The 1998 world champion, titled that year, is waiting to find out his successor. And France may have found it with Karim Benzema. In particular winner and top scorer of the Champions League with Real Madrid, the French striker is positioned as the big favorite for this 2022 edition. His presence among the nominees is therefore beyond doubt.
That of Kylian Mbappe also seems obvious. Champion of France with Paris Saint-Germain, the 23-year-old striker has had a huge season on an individual level, carrying the capital club on his shoulders on many occasions.
The blues for Kanté?
With Benzema and Mbappé, N’Golo Kante was also on the list last season. Hampered by injuries and with a less brilliant season than the previous one, the Chelsea midfielder could miss the check this year.
The place of the 2018 world champion could be priced by Christophe Nkunku. The attacking player from German club Leipzig is a serious candidate. The Frenchman, who made his debut with the Blues last March, had an exceptional season (32 goals and 20 assists in all competitions) on the German side. The former PSG was even crowned Bundesliga player of the season.
The prize list as a weighty argument?
Winner of the C1 and champion of Spain with Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy may have a chance to appear in this list with his track record. The former Olympique Lyonnais defender was an important player in the Madrid system, very often established by Carlo Ancelotti in the left lane of the Spanish club. Also Real Madrid players, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouameni can compete in the Kopa trophy, which rewards the best young people.
Theo Hernandez, Italian champions with AC Milan, meanwhile performed well last season, and could make the list. Conversely, Antoine Griezmann has been more discreet and may well not be there.
This year, France Football magazine has chosen to make several changes, in particular to the award conditions. The “individual performances” and the “decisive and impressive character of the contenders” now have a stronger importance than the prize list. It remains to be seen whether these instructions will also be applied for the list of nominees…