Four African football stars have been named to the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or Award in 2022. Sadio Mane, the African Player of the Year, is joined on the list by Mohamed Salah, a former Liverpool teammate, Sebastien Haller of Dortmund, and Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City.
George Weah of Liberia is the only African to have received the prestigious award, which he received while playing for AC Milan in 1995.
Karim Benzema of Real Madrid is the hot favorite for the award after leading the Blancos to a league and Champions League double last season.
Despite the odds, Sadio Mane might have the best chance of unseating Karim Benzema, having had an outstanding final season with Liverpool and leading Senegal to AFCON victory.
Lionel Messi won a record-breaking seventh Golden Ball in 2021, but the Argentine struggled in his first season at Paris Saint-Germain and was left off the 30-man shortlist this time around, along with teammate Neymar.
Messi’s eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, received a record-extending 19th nomination after scoring 24 goals in a poor Manchester United team last season.
The world’s best player is set to be crowned at an official presentation ceremony in October.