Who will win Ballon d’Or 2022? Shortlist, favourites, latest odds, date and past winners

Nicholas Hughes
Lionel Messi, Ballon d'Or 2021

The Ballon d’Or is world football’s ultimate individual prize, representing the best player across the globe for each calendar year.

Football’s biggest stars compete for the big award each year and look to shine above all others to ultimately hold the golden ball in their hands.

Here at FootballTransfers, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know ahead of the 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony.

What is the shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or?

Ahead of the award being announced, a shortlist of players who are in the running is announced for the voters across the world to choose from.

The shortlist usually features 30 players that have impressed with their performances at club and international level and is often announced over a month before the award is presented.

This 30-man list is later cut down to a final three-man shortlist ahead of the Ballon d'Or ceremony.

Who is the favourite to win the 2022 Ballon d’Or?

The early odds currently have Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah of Liverpool as the joint-favourites, coming in with 5/1 odds.

Lionel Messi has 7/1 odds to retain the crown, while three players are tied on 8/1 – Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kevin De Bruyne.

Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland is an underdog at 12/1, as are Neymar (20/1) and Phil Foden (25/1).

Outsiders for the award as it currently stands include Bernardo Silva at 33/1, Trent Alexander-Arnold at 50/1 and Italian forward Ciro Immobile, who has odds of 100/1.

How is the Ballon d’Or decided and who votes?

The initial 30-man shortlist is compiled by the editors at France Football, the organisers of the event. Once that list has been completed, a selection of international journalists – one representative from each nation – and national team coaches and captains come together to decide the winner.

They are each asked to choose their top five players from the 30 selected, and order them from first to fifth based on: individual and collective performances during the year, player class and an overall view of the player’s career.

The player who is selected as the winner by each of the selection panel is awarded six points, second-place is given four points, down to one point for fifth place.

The total points for each player from every journalist, coach and captain are then added together to decide third, second and first place.

When does the 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony take place?

The Ballon d’Or is an award based on an entire calendar year rather than a regular European football season, therefore the ceremony usually takes place around the end of each year.

The 2021 Ballon d’Or ceremony took place on Monday, November 29, so the 2022 awards night will likely be around a similar time of the year.

Where will the 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony be?

Given that the award is now run by France Football, it is fairly likely that the ceremony will be held somewhere in France.

The 2021 gala took place in Paris at the Theatre du Chatelet, the same venue for the 2019 ceremony as well, so it appears that the Ballon d’Or has found its home.

Who will present the 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony?

It’s customary for major football award nights and competition draws to feature a famous ex-professional player to help host the event.

The Ballon d’Or is no different, and Chelsea hero Didier Drogba has hosted the last two Ballon d’Or ceremonies alongside French journalist Sandy Heribert, and the pair could be called upon again.

Who won the 2021 Ballon d’Or?

Messi claimed a record seventh Ballon d’Or crown in 2021, owing to a superb second half of the 2020/21 season at Barcelona.

The Argentine racked up 30 goals and 10 assists in 29 matches in all competitions after the turn of the year, almost single-handedly propelling Barca to a La Liga title that had looked impossible earlier in the campaign.

READ MORE: Who won the Ballon d’Or 2021? Shortlist, favourites, latest odds, date and hosts

He followed that up by finally lifting the first international trophy of his career, with his four goals and five assists also securing him the Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament honours.

Messi beat challengers Lewandowski, Jorginho and Karim Benzema to the award, taking him two Ballons d'Or clear of long-time rival Ronaldo.

Why was the 2020 Ballon d’Or cancelled?

The 2020 Ballon d’Or was controversially cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pause in world football in March 2020 caused uncertainty over whether games would be played and if the season would be finished.

Indeed, both Ligue 1 and the Eredivisie ended their seasons early due to the pandemic, while international competitions like Euro 2020 were postponed.

The Ballon d’Or was cancelled on 20 July 2020, with France Football revealing the reason it would not be held was due to the “lack of a sufficiently level playing field” caused by the virus.

Robert Lewndowski, Germany's Footballer of the Year 2021

They added: “We did not want to put an indelible asterisk on the prize list as ‘a trophy won in exceptional circumstances due to the health crisis of Covid-19’.

“Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such a prize also means guaranteeing its irreproachability over time.”

Bayern Munich’s Lewandowski was the favourite for the award had it not been cancelled.

The Pole was widely considered the deserving winner of the award and there has been a campaign in the footballing world to award him what is perceived to be a deserved accomplishment.

Between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, Lewandowski had an absurd 101 goals and 18 assists in 85 club games, helping Bayern to the Champions League title in 2020 and also winning the FIFA Best Men’s Player award.

Upon receiving the 2021 Ballon d’Or, Messi acknowledged that Lewandowski should have the 2020 award in his trophy cabinet.

“Robert, you deserve your Ballon d’Or. Last year, everyone was in agreement to say that you were the big winner of this award,” he said.

Past winners of the Ballon d'Or

YearWinner
1956Stanley Matthews (England)
1957Alfredo Di Stefano (Spain)
1958Raymond Kopa (France)
1959Alfredo Di Stefano (Spain)
1960Luis Suarez (Spain)
1961Omar Sivori (Italy)
1962Josef Masopust (Czechoslovakia)
1963Lev Yashin (USSR)
1964Denis Law (Scotland)
1965Eusebio (Portugal)
1966Bobby Charlton (England)
1967Florian Albert (Hungary)
1968George Best (Northern Ireland)
1969Gianni Rivera (Italy)
1970Gerd Muller (Germany)
1971Johan Cruyff (Netherlands)
1972Franz Beckenbauer (Germany)
1973Johan Cruyff (Netherlands)
1974Johan Cruyff (Netherlands)
1975Oleg Blokhin (USSR)
1976Franz Beckenbauer (Germany)
1977Allan Simonsen (Denmark)
1978Kevin Keegan (England)
1979Kevin Keegan (England)
1980Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Germany)
1981Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Germany)
1982Paolo Rossi (Italy)
1983Michel Platini (France)
1984Michel Platini (France)
1985Michel Platini (France)
1986Igor Belanov (USSR)
1987Ruud Gullit (Netherlands)
1988Marco van Basten (Netherlands)
1989Marco van Basten (Netherlands)
1990Lothar Matthaus (Germany)
1991Jean-Pierre Papin (France)
1992Marco van Basten (Netherlands)
1993Roberto Baggio (Italy)
1994Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria)
1995George Weah (Liberia)
1996Matthias Sammer (Germany)
1997Ronaldo (Brazil)
1998Zinedine Zidane (France)
1999Rivaldo (Brazil)
2000Luis Figo (Portugal)
2001Michael Owen (England)
2002Ronaldo (Brazil)
2003Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic)
2004Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine)
2005Ronaldinho (Brazil)
2006Fabio Cannavaro (Italy)
2007Kaka (Brazil)
2008Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2009Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2010Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2011Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2012Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2013Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2014Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2015Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2016Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2017Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
2018Luka Modric(Croatia)
2019Lionel Messi (Argentina)
2020N/A
2021Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Who has won the most Ballon d’Or trophies?

Lionel Messi has won the most Ballon d’Or trophies in football history. The former Barcelona forward has come out on top seven times.

The Argentina star won the first of his six trophies in 2009. Further triumphs followed in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019 before his most recent victory in 2021.

Cristiano Ronaldo is next in the standings with five wins. There are three players who have each come out on top three times.

They are Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten.

How many Ballon d’Or trophies has Lionel Messi won?

Seven.

As well as his record number of victories, Messi has finished in second place for the Ballon d’Or five times and in third position once, giving him 13 appearances in the top three.

How many Ballon d’Or trophies has Cristiano Ronaldo won?

Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times in his illustrious career.

He claimed his first in 2008, with further successes coming in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

The Portugal star has also recorded six second-place finishes as well as coming third once.

He finished sixth in 2021.

What is the Kopa Trophy?

The Kopa Trophy is an award that recognises the best-performing player under the age of 21, and was first introduced in 2018. The award is voted for by former Ballon d'Or winners.

The award is named after Raymond Kopa, a French footballling legend that won three European Cup titles with Real Madrid and won the Ballon d'Or in 1958.

Just like the Ballon d'Or, the Kopa Trophy was cancelled in 2020 so it has only been given out three times, with three different winners on each occasion.

Kylian Mbappe won the inaugural award after helping France to win the World Cup before Matthijs de Ligt claimed the prize in 2019 on the back of Ajax's outstanding Champions League campaign.

Pedri is the current holder of the award after a stunning breakout season at Barcelona in 2020-21 that also saw him play a pivotal role for Spain at both the Euros and the Olympics.

Past winners of the Kopa Trophy

YearWinner
2018Kylian Mbappe (France)
2019 Matthijs de Ligt (Netherlands)
2020N/A
2021Pedri (Spain)

What is the Yashin Trophy?

The Yashin Trophy is awarded to the world's best goalkeeper each year, and is aptly named after Russian Lev Yashin, who is considered by many to have been the best goalkeeper of all time.

Just like the Kopa Trophy, former Ballon d'Or winners cast a vote to decide the winner, and the first award was won by Liverpool's Alisson Becker in 2019.

Gianluigi Donnarumma was rewarded for a remarkable Euro 2020 campaign by winning the 2021 Yashin Trophy, just the second time the honour has been given out.

Past winners of the Yashin Trophy

YearWinner
2019 Alisson Becker (Brazil)
2020N/A
2021Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy)

What is the Women’s Ballon d’Or?

Alongside the men’s award, there is also a women’s Ballon d’Or that was introduced in 2018.

Like the men’s award, journalists from around the world vote for who has been the best player in the world during the calendar year. Lyon striker Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018 and Megan Rapinoe lifted the prize in 2019.

The women’s ceremony was also cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Past winners of the Women's Ballon d'Or

YearWinner
2018 Ada Hegerberg (Sweden)
2019Megan Rapinoe (U.S.A)
2020N/A
2021Alexia Putellas (Spain)

What was the FIFA Ballon d’Or?

The Ballon d’Or has been its own award since 1956, but between 2010 and 2015, it merged with FIFA’s ‘World Player of the Year’ award to form the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

The FIFA World Player of the Year had been an award between 1991 and 2009, with both Ronaldo Nazario and Zinedine Zidane winning it three times, before it joined with the Ballon d’Or in 2010.

Messi won the first-ever joint award, and retained it in 2011 and 2012 as well, with Cristiano Ronaldo winning successive awards in 2013 and 2014, before Messi won the final iteration of the award in 2015.

For 2016, FIFA and France Football parted ways, with the Ballon d’Or back to being its own independent award. FIFA, meanwhile, resurrected its previous award under a new name: The Best FIFA Men’s Player.

Lewandowski is the current holder of this award after winning it in 2020.