Tonight from 21:30 to 23:00 Bulgarian time in Paris will be held the ceremony for the awards "Golden Ball". In addition to the new winner of the most prestigious individual award in world football, the winners in the category of best football player, best goalkeeper (Lev Yashin trophy) and best young football player under 21 (Copa trophy) will also become clear. .
Undoubtedly, the attention is drawn to the men's competition, where there are several main contenders for the award presented by France Football magazine. The favorite number 1 is the Argentine Lionel Messi, who won the last edition of the ranking in 2019 (in 2020 there was no awarding of the Golden Ball due to the coronavirus pandemic). The PSG star has won the trophy a record six times. He had a strong individual year, although he only won the Copa del Rey with Barcelona before moving to PSG in the summer, but reached the coveted trophy of the Copa America with Argentina after defeating Brazil in the final.
Messi's main competitor is the goal scorer of Bayern Munich and Poland Robert Lewandowski. The striker is the highest-scoring player in the world last year and broke a number of records, but Bayern did not perform well in defending their Champions League title, and Poland was eliminated in the group stage of Euro 2022.
Somewhat surprisingly, the bookmakers put Jorgeninho in third place. The midfielder won the Champions League with Chelsea and soon after became European champions with Italy, with a high level of performance, but can hardly be compared individually with Messi and Lewandowski. Real Madrid veteran Karim Benzema also has little chance for the Golden Ball, maintaining a consistently high level for both the club and the national team. Liverpool goal scorer Mohamed Salah has been performing exceptionally in recent months, which has raised expectations that he can also claim the Golden Ball, but the probability of this seems small, while the star of Portugal and Manchester United Cristiano Ronaldo has no chance of sixth success in the standings. after the disappointing results of Juventus, Portugal and United.
According to the experts for the Golden Ball, the women's favorites are two - Alexia Puteias from Barcelona and Sam Kerr from Chelsea, and the goalkeeper is expected to triumph the guard of Italy and PSG Gianluigi Donaruma, who was the main credit for the success of Squadra Azzurri at the European Championship. football in the summer. It is a little harder to predict the winner in the category for a young footballer, but still the favorite there is the midfielder of Barcelona and Spain Pedri. The other main contenders are Bucaio Saka, Mason Greenwood, Jude Bellingham, Jamal Musiala and Gio Reina.