The Ballon d’Or is one of the most prestigious, if not the most prestigious individual award in all of world football. The award is gifted to the best player in the world, and the ranking of the rest of the nominees follows suit.
While there will likely be not many people arguing that the winner, Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, didn’t deserve that award, the issues came with the rankings that proceeded Benzema’s win. 100 journalists decide the ranking of 30 players, and how they fared in the year ranking.
However, that ranking was left to be highly debated and the award took a lot of criticism online for players that many believe were ranked far too high, and players that were ranked far too low.
Since the ceremony, players have came out and said what they believe have been unjust rankings to the award. PSG forward Neymar took a shot at the award after vinicius Junior was rent a space, despite being one of the best players in the world, and coming off of a Champions League victory, while scoring in the final.
Neymar stated on Twitter, “Benzema, well deserved, crack, Now for Vinicius, finishing eighth is not right. At the very least he is among the top three.”
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois took aim at the award, saying that it is “impossible” for a goalkeeper to win the award.
Top 3 Confusion
Once the ranking was unveiled, many people quickly question why Sadio Mane was second. Mane’s trophy cabinet for 2021 and 2022 was filled, as he won the African Cup of Nations, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup, while also being a finalist in the Champions League and runner up in the Premier League.
There’s no questioning Mane had an incredible season but many questioned why he had such a high ranking when he wasn’t the best player on his own club, with Liverpool relying heavily on Mohamed Salah for most of the season.
Another glaring confusing ranking was Manchester City Kevin De Bruyne, who was third. KDB had an incredible season but missed much of the first half of the award injured. While he did a great job in the second half making up for that, and won the Premier League, it’s hard to say that that was enough to jump many of the best players last season.
Salah’s Criminally Underrated
The biggest player that was talked about being snubbed was Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. It seemed as though salla had run away with the Ballon d’Or at the beginning of the season. Salah ended the campaign with 33 goals, 19 assists, while being the leader of a Liverpool squad that won the FA Cup & Carabao Cup.
Salah also spearheaded the Reds to the Champions League Final and second in the Premier League.
Other Awards Controversies
The Ballon d’Or award itself wasn’t the only award that struck controversy at the ceremony. Barcelona’s Gavi won the Kopa Trophy for best young player. Alphonso Davies expressed his frustration on Twitter, stating his support for teammates Jamal Musiala “They may have denied you of your Kopa Trophy, but they won’t deny you of your future Ballon d’Or #GoldenBoy.”
Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann was also expressed his displeasure with the decision, stating, “I would have voted otherwise. Musiala and Bellingham have had better seasons than the winner. From my point of view, those two are ahead of Gavi.”
The award ceremony was met with quite a bit of controversy and displeasue and it feels as though for the most part, the journalists got this one wrong according to fans, players and coaches alike.
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