Thursday, December 8, 2022

Five Young Footballers Competing For The Ballon d’Or

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Bernard Ford
A Leicester City fan. Wants respect from the 'London based' media for clubs outside the bubble.

There are few more prestigious honours awarded in the world of football than the Ballon d’Or. Over the years, some of the most memorable footballers have claimed the top prize, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominating the top spot for much of the last decade.

However, there is a new wave of talent emerging across England and the rest of Europe, which means a change of the times is likely. However, who are some of the youngest Ballon d’Or favourites for the accolade in 2022?

Erling Haaland

Despite being just 22, Erling Haaland already looks to be a future Ballon d’Or winner in waiting. The Norwegian looks unlikely to land the top prize this year given the exploits of Karim Benzema for Real Madrid last term, but his time is certainly likely to come.

The striker has set the world alight since completing his move to Manchester City in the summer, as he has already scored 20 goals in 12 appearances since arriving at the Etihad. Many think that the long-standing Golden Boot record could be smashed by Haaland this term.

Kylian Mbappe

While the rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has dominated the race for the Ballon d’Or since 2009, a new rivalry could emerge over the coming seasons. Kylian Mbappe and Haaland are likely to be the two stars competing for the top prize, with Mbappe already having proven that he has what it takes to lead his country to international glory.

The Frenchman ended rumours surrounding his future by signing a new deal with PSG, and he has netted eleven goals in 12 games in all competitions already this term.

Vinicius Jr

Vinicius Jr is widely regarded as one of the brightest young Brazilian players to have emerged over the past couple of seasons. The 22-year-old took his game to new levels last term, as he scored 17 goals and registered ten assists as Real Madrid won the La Liga and Champions League double.

The winger looks set to play a prominent role later in the year too, as Brazil look to end their 20-year wait for World Cup success. He has certainly started this term in solid form, having scored seven goals in eleven appearances in all competitions.

Phil Foden

Manchester City has an embarrassment of riches in the final third of the field, but one of their brightest stars is homegrown talent Phil Foden. The double PFA Young Player of the Year has started the new campaign in sensational form with City, having already scored seven goals in eleven games in all competitions.

The 22-year-old has already registered four assists in all competitions to this point, and he looks set to be one of England’s most important players at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Jude Bellingham

Another Englishman with the world at his feet looks to be Jude Bellingham. The 19-year-old was shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or for the first time in 2022, but it will be by no means his last nomination. He has excelled since joining Borussia Dortmund from Birmingham City, and has become a regular starter for both club and country since the start of 2022.

Bellingham is still only 19, and he is likely to be one of the hottest properties in world football next summer, as a number of the world’s best clubs are lining up potential moves for the central midfielder.

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