The Ballon d’Or and Ballon d'Or Féminin (Awards given to the best male and female soccer player of the year) are coming up this October and the nominees were announced a couple of weeks ago, Soccer Alarm will rank the 3 candidates most likely to win each competition.
3. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona/Poland)
Won: Bundesliga. Robert Lewandowski was the top scorer in the Bundesliga and had 57 goals and 12 assists in all competitions, more goals than the other two players on this list. He led Bayern Munich to another Bundesliga title this year and scored in Poland’s 2-0 win over Sweden that put them into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
2. Sadio Mane (Liverpool and Bayern Munich/Senegal)
Won the FA Cup, Carabao Cup, DFL-Supercup and Africa Cup of Nations. Sadio Mane was instrumental in Liverpool’s bid to win the English quadruple, which they came very close to, but Mane’s team narrowly lost the Premier League and Champions League. The international side of Mane’s season was very successful, as he won the Africa Cup of Nations (of which he was the MVP) against Egypt and qualified for the World Cup again over Egypt. In the transfer window Mane moved to Bayern Munich where he won the DFL Supercup.
1. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France)
Won the Champions League, Supercopa de Espana La Liga, and UEFA Men’s Player of The Year. Karim Benzema was the top scorer in all of those competitions and is a clear favorite to win the Ballon d’Or, the French player had an unstoppable season, winning almost every competition he was in, and outscoring almost everyone whenever he stepped onto the pitch.
Ballon d'Or Féminin
3. Sam Kerr (Chelsea/Australia)
Won the English Women’s Super League (WSL) and the FA Cup. Sam Kerr was the top scorer in the WSL a league she led Chelsea to victory, and had many crucial goals, including 2 against Manchester United that kept their title hopes alive. The Australian also played in the AFC Asian Cup, her team was eliminated in the quarter finals, but despite this, she won the golden boot by scoring 7 goals in only 4 matches including 5 in one game against Indonesia.
2. Beth Mead (Arsenal/England)
Won the UEFA Women’s Euro. Beth Mead season was defined by how well she did on the England national team, but we will start with her accomplishments for her club, Arsenal, which lost the English league (WSL) by 1 point on the final match day, she did manage to secure herself in WSL history, as she became the WSL’s all time assist leader and won Arsenal Women’s Player of the Year. On the international level, Beth Mead led England to UEFA Euro glory and won the golden boot and player of the tournament after England’s 2-1 win in extra time over Germany in the finals.
1. Alexia Putellas (FC Barcelona/Spain)
Won Copa de la Reina, Supercopa de España, Supercopa de España, and UEFA Women 's Player of the Year. Alexia Putellas won last year’s edition of the Ballon d’Or Féminin and is a favorite to win it again this year. She was the captain of an FC Barcelona that won every single game in their domestic league and she also captained them to the Champions League Finals, but lost that game. Her season may be remembered by when she scored a hat trick in four minutes, or when she scored a forty yard stunner, or possibly, by the ACL injury she picked up, which left her out of the Spanish squad for the 2022 Women’s Euros, and that may put her out for the entirety of next season.