United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro were among the top 30 nominees for the prestigious awards ceremony, while City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland were among the top ten.
With eight Manchester-based players named in the top 30, Karim Benzema has won the 2022 Ballon d’Or.
After guiding Real Madrid to another La Liga and Champions League double, the seasoned France striker was a heavy favorite to win the prized trophy for the first time at the spectacular Paris ceremony, which was held at the Theatre du Chalet. That was proven when he received the award.
Sadio Mane and Kevin De Bruyne rounded out the top three, with Manchester City striker Erling Haaland also making the list. Meanwhile, Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was ranked 20th, and Casemiro, who joined the club from Real Madrid in the summer, was ranked 17th.
The city was well-represented at the ceremony, with six players nominated after Pep Guardiola and his star-studded squad won their third Premier League title last season. Of course, they were vanquished in their pursuit of European glory by Benzema and his Real Madrid companions.
Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva were among three players tied for 22nd place, while Portugal defender Joao Cancelo received two votes to finish 25th. Riyad Mahrez (12th) almost missed out on the top 10 as De Bruyne and his new colleague Haaland led the City team.
Haaland broke into the top 10, and the Norwegian phenomenon will almost probably be included in future years. But, for the time being, De Bruyne takes center stage at the Etihad Stadium, having been ranked third behind Benzema and Mane.
Ballon d’Or 2022 rankings (top-10)
1: Karim Benzema – Real Madrid
2: Sadio Mane – Bayern Munich
3: Kevin de Bruyne – Manchester City
4: Robert Lewandowski – Barcelona
5: Mohamed Salah – Liverpool
6: Kylian Mbappe – PSG
7: Thibaut Courtois – Real Madrid
8: Vinicius Jnr – Real Madrid
9: Luka Modric – Real Madrid
10: Erling Haaland – Manchester City