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Early Betting Odds and Predictions for the 2022 Ballon d’Or

| February 21, 2022 12:01 pm PDT
Ballon d’Or trophy with Odds/numbers in background with soccer players

Who will win the Ballon d’Or in 2022?

With the majority of the year ahead of us, that is a question that nobody can answer right now. Still, there is no harm in peeking at the early 2022 Ballon d’Or odds to see what the bookmakers think.

Lionel Messi clinched a record seventh Ballon d’Or crown last year, edging out Robert Lewandowski in one of the closest showdowns in recent memory. Naturally, both Messi and Lewandowski are among the Ballon d’Or betting favorites for 2022.

You can bet your bottom dollar that superstars such as Mohamed Salah, Kylian Mbappe, and Erling Haaland will also be in the running for soccer’s most prestigious induvial honor at the end of the year.

Let’s check out the latest odds for the 2022 Ballon d’Or and examine all the potential contenders. I will wrap things up at the end of this post by sharing my Ballon d’Or predictions.

2022 Ballon d’Or Odds

Here are the 2022 Ballon d’Or betting odds. I have chosen to include the top 20 favorites here. If you’re looking for a more extensive list of names, head over to the best soccer betting sites.

Before the bookies’ released their Ballon d’Or odds for 2022, I profiled ten players who could win the award this year. As expected, all of those players are among the oddsmakers’ Ballon d’Or favorites.

At present, Mohamed Salah (5.00) is the frontrunner to scoop the prize. The 29-year-old is enjoying a phenomenal season with Liverpool and recently led Egypt all the way to the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Having narrowly missed out on last year’s award, Robert Lewandowski (6.50) is currently the second favorite to win the 2022 Ballon d’Or. The lethal striker turns 34 in a few months, but he is still scoring goals at a frightening rate.

Lionel Messi (8.00) is also in the mix after claiming the silverware in 2021. The Argentine megastar has secured a record seven Ballon d’Or crowns over the years – two more than Cristiano Ronaldo (13.00).

Kylian Mbappe (8.50) and Karim Benzema (12.00) round out the top five. The Frenchmen are at opposite ends of their careers but are both churning out the kinds of numbers that put you in contention for the award.

I will be taking a closer look at all the Ballon d’Or betting favorites a little later, as well as the underdogs and outsiders. First, though, let’s rewind the clock and look at the votes and standings from 2021.

Who Won the Ballon d’Or in 2021?

The 2020 Ballon d’Or ceremony was canceled due to the pandemic. It is widely believed that Lewandowski would have won the award two years ago, but he ended up becoming the subject of one the biggest snubs in Ballon d’Or history.

Having been denied the opportunity to claim the honor in 2020, Lewandowski was heavily favored to make amends in 2021. However, Messi edged out Lewandowski by just 33 votes to reign supreme once again.

Player Club(s) Votes
Lionel Messi Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain 613
Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich 580
Jorginho Chelsea 460
Karim Benzema Real Madrid 239
N’Golo Kante Chelsea 186
Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus/Manchester United 178
Mohamed Salah Liverpool 121
Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City 73
Kylian Mbappe Paris Saint-Germain 58
Gianluigi Donnarumma AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain 36

Few would argue that Messi did not deserve to clinch his seventh crown, though. I mean, the magician racked up 38 goals and 14 assists in a below-par Barcelona team before moving to PSG. He also bagged four goals and five assists as he almost singlehandedly fired Argentina to Copa America glory.

If it weren’t for the Copa America triumph, however, Messi may not have won the award. Ballon d’Or voters often pick players that win trophies and sometimes disregard individual performance.

For Example
Jorginho finished third in the 2021 Ballon d’Or standings. He enjoyed a remarkable 12 months, but it wouldn’t be unfair to say that he was not the third-best player in world soccer last year.

Even so, he received the third-most votes after winning the Champions League with Chelsea and the European Championship with Italy.

When it comes to betting on the Ballon d’Or, it is vital that you understand how the voting process works. With journalists, coaches, and national captains from across the world voting on the award, the final standings invariably dish up surprises.

Analyzing the 2022 Ballon d’Or Betting Favorites

At this moment in time, there are four obvious Ballon d’Or betting favorites for 2022. Although the situation will likely change as the year unfolds, let’s inspect the current frontrunners.

Mohamed Salah (5.00)

If Egypt had won the AFCON final, Salah’s Ballon d’Or odds would have almost certainly dropped earlier in the year. Sadly, the Liverpool star was unable guide his country to glory. But he is still the favorite to win the 2022 Ballon d’Or.

That tells you everything you need to know about this guy’s ability.

Few would argue that Salah is not the best player on the planet right now. Before the Africa Cup of Nations, the unstoppable forward chalked up 23 goals and nine assists in 26 appearances across all competitions. His tally could be off the charts by the end of the season.

As it stands, Manchester City is running away with the Premier League title. Still, the Reds have already booked their spot in the EFL Cup final and remain in contention for both the Champions League and FA Cup silverware this year.

If Salah continues to score at a rapid rate – and Liverpool wins a trophy or two – the Egyptian could become the first African player since George Weah in 1995 (and only the second African in history) to clinch the Ballon d’Or.

Robert Lewandowski (6.50)

Lewandowski enjoyed another astonishing campaign last season. The Bayern Munich marksman netted 48 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions in 2020-21, including 41 goals in 29 Bundesliga games.

In typical Lewandowski fashion, he is doing remarkable things this season, too. He has already surpassed the 35-goal mark in all competitions – and there are still several months of the season remaining.

Aside from the Ballon d’Or, Lewandowski picked up just about every other individual accolade in 2021. He was named the Ballon d’Or Striker of the Year, Best FIFA Men’s Player, and IFFHS World’s Best Man Player – along with a host of other honors.

The 33-year-old has helped Bayern to win each of the past seven Bundesliga titles and has won six of the previous eight Bundesliga Golden Boots. What more does he have to do to win the Ballon d’Or?

Well, there is no denying that winning Champions League would have a huge impact on the voting process. If Bayern wins the UCL in 2022, Lewandowski’s Ballon d’Or odds will plummet.

Lionel Messi (8.00)

It isn’t difficult to understand why Messi is among the bookmakers’ favorites for the 2022 Ballon d’Or. Not only has the current holder won each of the last two awards, but he has also claimed seven of the previous 12.

That said, I think the 34-year-old would have to do something extraordinary to defend his crown this year. Of course, we have seen Messi perform countless miracles over the years. But he is no longer the player he once was.

  • Lionel Messi: 7 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo: 5 (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
  • Luka Modric: 1 (2018)

By his own high standards, Messi has failed to make an impact in Paris. He managed to score just twice across his first 13 Ligue 1 appearances for PSG and has struggled for consistency this season.

Sure, it wouldn’t be a massive shock if the seven-time winner went on a crazy hot streak and ended up adding another Ballon d’Or trophy to his bustling silverware cabinet. As things stand, however, Salah and Lewandowski are jostling for pole position.

Kylian Mbappe (8.50)

Mbappe is destined get his hands on the Ballon d’Or trophy in the not-too-distant future. It remains to be seen whether 2022 will be his year, though.

At club level, the 23-year-old is continuing to notch goal involvements week after week. His goals and assists have put PSG in the driver’s seat in the Ligue 1 title race – and he could also help the Parisians to go deep into the Champions League.

But it’s his potential achievements on the international stage that could see him clinch the Ballon d’Or. With the 2022 FIFA World Cup taking place in Qatar between November and December, Mbappe has the chance to show the entire world what he is capable of.

Let’s not forget that Mbappe lit up the 2018 World Cup. After grabbing three goals and an assist across the first six games, he scored in the final as France crushed Croatia 4-2.

France is among the bookies’ favorites to lift the famous trophy once again in Qatar. Having received the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award four years ago, Mbappe could secure the biggest prize of all in 2022.

Ballon d’Or Sleepers to Track During 2022

There are plenty of big-name players outside of the bookmakers’ group of favorites. In this section, I profile four Ballon d’Or underdogs to keep an eye on from the remainder of 2022.

Cristiano Ronaldo (13.00)

Only Messi has won more Ballon d’Or trophies than Ronaldo. The iconic Portuguese scooped his first award all the way back in 2008 before picking up four crowns in five years between 2013 and 2017.

It goes without saying that Ronaldo would have to produced one of his best-ever seasons in order to claim a sixth crown in 2022. After all, he recently turned 37 and is no longer banging in 50+ goals a season.

Still, can you imagine what would happen if CR7 fired Portugal to World Cup glory later this year? The Ballon d’Or voters would not be able to ignore an achievement of that magnitude.

Erling Haaland (15.00)

If the early stages of Haaland’s career are anything to go by, the Norwegian is destined to win the Ballon d’Or at some stage. He has already scored a scary number of goals for both club and country – and he is still just 21!

The Borussia Dortmund starlet has all the right attributes to become one of the greatest strikers of all time. Indeed, his electric pace, unstoppable power, genius movement, and clinical finishing have put him on the radar of every major club in world soccer.

The 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony may just arrive too soon for Haaland. But if he continues to progress at his current rate, he could find himself among the frontrunners at the end of the year.

It is also worth noting that Haaland is among a select group of players who could break Ronaldo’s international goalscoring record.

8 Players Who Could Break Cristiano Ronaldo’s International Goalscoring Record

Before we get stuck into this debate, let’s get one thing straight – Cristiano Ronaldo’s international goalscoring record will not be broken anytime soon. At the time of writing, the Portuguese megastar has 115 international goals to his...

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Phil Foden (34.00)

The sky’s the limit for Phil Foden.

At just 21, the uber-gifted midfielder already has three Premier League titles to his name. Man City’s current dominance suggests that Foden will have won four EPL titles by the time to 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony comes around.

Last year, we saw Jorginho win both the UCL and Euros before finishing third in the Ballon d’Or standings. If Foden wins the EPL and tastes World Cup success with England, there is no reason why he won’t be in the running for the award.

Vinicius Junior (41.00)

In my eyes, Vinicius Junior stands a better chance of winning the 2022 Ballon d’Or than Foden. However, the bookies seem to favor Foden over Vinicius at this stage.

Vinicius is currently enjoying a remarkable breakout season at Real Madrid. In just over 30 appearances, the 21-year-old has racked up 25+ goal involvements across all competitions – emphasizing his undeniable talent.

The winger’s exploits have enabled Real Madrid to get one hand on the La Liga trophy. The Spanish giant could also mount a serious challenge for the Champions League title this year, giving Vinicius more opportunities to shine on the continental stage.

On top of that, the Brazilian has recently become a key figure for his national team. That means he stands a genuine chance of winning the World Cup in Qatar, which will only enhance his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or.

Predicting Who Will Win the 2022 Ballon d’Or

So, who will win the 2022 Ballon d’Or?

At this point in time, it’s a two-horse race between Salah and Lewandowski. Both forwards are at the top of their game right now, but can they sustain their current form throughout the remainder of 2022?

It is important to remember that a lot can – and probably will – change between now and the end of the year. For instance, the outcome of both the Champions League and World Cup is bound to have a big impact on the Ballon d’Or voting.

Making early Ballon d’Or predictions is always fun – and it can also prove to be extremely profitable if you take advantage of the bookies’ early Ballon d’Or odds. But early Ballon d’Or predictions can also look pretty foolish by the end of the year.

Foden and Vinicius are currently priced at 34.00 and 41.00, respectively. If they continue to dazzle and end up guiding their club and/or country to silverware later in the year, their odds will be nowhere near as high in the lead-up to the ceremony.

Top Tip
Ultimately, when it comes to betting on the Ballon d’Or, you need to keep a close eye on all the potential contenders throughout the year. That means analyzing individual performances, team achievements, and everything in between.

In the meantime, check out the greatest Ballon d’Or winners of all time to get a better understanding of what it takes to secure the award.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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