On the 12th of August 2022, the Ballon d'Or nominees will be announced for both the male and female categories and on the 17th of October 2022, just a month before the world cup. Karim Benzema is the clear favourite to win the prestigious award but the women's award might not be straightforward. Alexia Putellas sustained an injury a day to the Euros, which led to her missing the tournament and will be on the sideline for eight months. So many things can happen in eight months.
However, with the new rule of the winner being judged based on the previous season's performance and not based on a calendar year's performance, Alexia Putellas can be assured that no one is taking her crown away from her. Ahead of the nomination in a few days, here is a list of what I feel will be the final ranking, come October 17.
1. Alexia Putellas (Spain & Barcelona)
She is the current holder and the heartbeat of both the Spanish national team and Barcelona women's team What can Alexia not do? She can score and create goals. She is a joy to watch with the way she dictates play from the middle, watching her is like watching Messi, Iniesta and Xavi in one body.
Another great thing about Alexia is that she's a captain that leads by example. When Barcelona isn't playing as fluid as they used to, it's common to see Alexia shouting and telling her teammates to wake up by supporting the defence. That's how good she is. Though she missed the Euros due to an injury, I see her retaining her crown. Getting Barcelona to the UWCL final and winning every domestic cup with a 100% win rate is enough.
2. Sam Kerr (Chelsea & Australia)
Chelsea's best striker Currently (male and female) and the female footballer with the biggest brand. Sam Kerr is a goal poacher. Just give the ball to Sam anywhere on the field and see her work her magic. Sam Kerr is so good that she no longer scores simple goals, if you are looking for what they call a "Television goal", a goal with Finesse go and watch the last game of the season. She stunned the Manchester United fans and receive worldwide praise.
She came third last year behind Alexia Putellas and former Barcelona player Jennifer Hermoso. Not going far in the Champions League will be a great disadvantage but let's keep our fingers crossed. I'm Tipping her to go one step further this time around.
3. Beth Mead (England & Arsenal)
It's an absolute Beauty to watch Beth play. She was the stand-out player at the Euros with great goals and assists, breaking the highest goal in a single tournament in the process though Popp joined some hours later. She won the golden boot (The same number of goals as Popp, albeit more assists) and was also the player of the Tournament at the Euros. Putting her in 3rd is a hard choice, I won't be surprised if she's the 2nd woman on the podium come October 17th.
Just like Sam Kerr, Arsenal’s performance in the UWCL wasn't so good though they went farther than Chelsea.
4. Ada Hegerberg (Norway & Lyon)
This is a hard choice. I debated whether to pick her ahead of her teammates in Lyon Wendie, going by the performance of each player at the Euros. This opens the live-long debate, which competition holds higher value in the Ballon d'Or ranking? The UWCL or WEUROS (Continental tournaments)? I guess we'd never know.
Ada was at the centre of Lyon's UWCL triumph last season. The Champions League all-time leading goal scorer was at it again. She did what she knows how to do best- score goals.
5. Wendie Renard (France & Lyon)
A living legend, a Sergio Ramos of women's football. Age isn't slowing her down. A commanding presence in defence for both France and Lyon cannot be overemphasised. She added another Champions league to her illustrious collection of trophies and helped France in getting to the Semi-finals of the women's Euros.
2022 saw the birth of so many great players into the limelight, that it will be hard to pick one over the other, however, here is a list of players that will most likely be in the top 15
Aitana Bonmati (Spain & Barcelona)
Frank Kirby (England & Chelsea)
Lucy Bronze (England & Man City/Barcelona)
Alexander Popp (Germany & Wolfsburg)
Marie-Antoinette Oda Katoto (France & PSG)
Caroline Graham Hasen (Norway & Barcelona)
Fridolina Rolfö (Sweden & Barcelona)
Catarina Macario (France & Lyon)
Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir (Iceland & Wolfsburg)
Vivianne Miedema ( Netherlands & Arsenal)
Alex Morgan is another footballer that might be in the Top 15, I didn't add it for some reasons.
This is not an official list or criteria that will be used. The list is based on what I feel from watching them play and their achievements in the past season. Only time will tell if my guess is right.
Thanks for Reading! ⚽️💚⚽️
Image source cited ( Those with no credit are screenshots taken during a match)