Barcelona and Real Madrid will once again dominate the ceremony of the Ballon d’Or with the 2022 awards being given out on Monday evening [October 17].
Karim Benzema is the favourite to win the golden trophy for the first time which would make him only the second player other than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win it since 2008 after Luka Modric in 2018.
The other top awards are the Yashin Trophy, which is presented to the best goalkeeper and the Kopa Trophy which is given to the best performing player under the age of 21.
With the awards clearly being based on performance from the preceding season rather than the past 12 months for the first time, Marca claim Benzema will win the top prize.
The 34-year-old is in an incredible form having fired Real Madrid to La Liga and Champions League glory last season while smashing home 44 goals from 46 games.
Picking up the Yashin Trophy is set to be Thibaut Courtois who won the same domestic honours with hhis teammate Benzema, with Barcelona’s Pedri winning the Kopa award for the second year in a row.
Benzema’s chances of winning the Ballon d’Or looked to be sliding away after a poor return of 12 goals back in 2017/18, after which his form has improved astronomically.
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The France international has scored 30, 27, 30 and 44 goals in the seasons that followed, already scoring four league goals from six appearances this time around.
Courtois won the Champions League for the first time under Carlo Ancelotti last season while keeping 22 clean sheets in all competition and conceding only 46 goals.
Pedri has taken La Liga by storm since breaking into the Barcelona first-team after joining from Las Palmas, playing 87 matches for the club as he approaches his 20th birthday.
The 2022 results, which are presented by France Football, makes it the first time since 2005 where seven-time winner Lionel Messi was not nominated.