Real Madrid has been the main protagonist this Friday after the publication of the 30 nominees for the 2022 ‘Golden Ball’ by managing to include six players, while there is no Spaniard on the list, nor does Lionel Messi appear, for the first time in 16 years, nor his partner Neymar Junior.

‘France Football’ published this Friday the last 30 possible winners of the prize in 2022. Among them six Madrid players: Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Junior, Luka Modric, Casemiro, the newcomer Antonio Rudiger and Karim Benzema, the great favorite in all the pools.

His teammate Courtois is not far behind, with the same trophies as the rest of the Madridistas. The goalkeeper established himself last season as one of the heroes of the white team with decisive performances at key moments, and has become an indisputable and vital piece in Real Madrid’s latest successes. And the challenge of lifting the award is enormous, since only one goalkeeper, Yashin in 1962, won the award.

The Belgian was one of the most influential in achieving Madrid titles. In the ‘Champions’ round of 16 he stopped a penalty from Messi and stopped Mbappé; in the quarterfinals, a saving hand shot by Azpilicueta and an extraordinary stop to a header by Havertz on the edge of the precipice; the masterful foot to Grealish in the semifinals to keep alive the options of his team; and his masterpiece was completed with an extraordinary night in the final against Liverpool.

The white team shares the honors of the most represented club on a list that stands out for the great absences and the scarce presence of Spanish football. FC Barcelona, ​​for its part, only has one footballer and it is the Polish Robert Lewandowski, mentioned for his merits at Bayern Munich.

The prestigious award, which will be presented on October 17, also has other high-level contenders, but none of them have the endorsement of Karim Benzema’s titles. Among those candidates are Kylian Mbappé, from Paris Saint-Germain, and the Norwegian Erling Haaland, now at Manchester City, but without the Frenchman’s resume.

In addition, six other footballers from Liverpool, European runner-up, and another six from Manchester City, current Premier League champion and Champions League semifinalist, are nominated, including Kevin De Bruyne and Sadio Mané, now at Bayern and champion of the Africa Cup last year.

The most surprising thing is the absence of Leo Messi, current holder of the trophy, for the first time since 2006. His merits after the change of team have left him out of an award that he has won seven times. Nor is a Neymar mentioned who has been away from his best level for a long time, the one he offered precisely at Can Barça.

The Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo does appear among the nominees, who has accumulated 18 consecutive nominations, leaving behind Messi’s 15. The Portuguese knows that he has it very difficult, but he does not fail to mention him among the best. It also highlights the absence of Spanish footballers for the first time since 2004, in the same way as Argentine players.


The French magazine ‘France Football’ announced in March that it would modify its system to designate the winner of the Ballon d’Or. Thus, instead of taking into account what was done in the calendar year, this edition will take into account all the 2021-22 season.

As for the voting system, this will be limited to the representatives of the first hundred countries in the FIFA ranking, in the case of the male Golden Ball, and the first 50, in the case of the female, in search of gaining more legitimacy. .


For its part, in other nominations, the presence of Barcelona player Gavi and Madrid player Eduardo Camavinga as “best young man” last season stands out. Both appear in a list of ten footballers, among which Jamal Musiala, from Bayern Munich, or Bukayo Saka, from Arsenal.

In addition, the award that recognizes the best goalkeeper of the course, the Yachine ‘Trophy’, recognized the performances of the Madrid player Thibaut Courtois, the mattress player Jan Oblak and the Sevilla player Yassine Bounou, on a list that includes the German Manuel Neuer or the Brazilian Alisson Becker.