The Ballon d'Or is the most prestigious individual award a footballer can win. Check out historical trend data to track the odds of the current favourites as well read up on history of the award.
The Ballon d’Or is the premier individual prize in football and you can expect to find the usual suspects in the running for the award, as well as some new faces. Our Ballon d’Or odds page offers the latest odds and a look at the current favourites, showing how each participant’s chances have been rated by the bookies.
Ballon d’Or 2022 Latest Odds (via PaddyPower)
Kevin De Bruyne
We also track the following betting markets – take a look to see current odds and trends over time:
17th August – The nominees have been officially announced, with the most notable absences being Lionel Messi and Neymar. Karim Benzema is still the runaway favourite, with an implied probability of over 96%.
12th July – Well, if the bookies are to believed, this race is well and truly over. Karim Benzema’s heroics in the Champions League and La Liga for Real Madrid have not gone unnoticed, and the Frenchman’s implied probability is above 95%.
7th April – Benzema’s odds soar once more as he scores yet another hat-trick, this time away to Chelsea in the Champions League. Lewandowski’s superb domestic scoring record sees him maintain his position as favourite, despite Bayern’s struggles against Villarreal in Europe.
15th March – Lionel Messi’s odds of retaining his Ballon d’Or crown slip as PSG are knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid. Karim Benzema’s implied probability surges as he scores a hat-trick to knock out the Parisians.
18th February – Salah’s odds remain level despite losing in the AFCON final with Egypt. Lewandowski’s odds take a slight dip, while Riyad Mahrez suffers the biggest decline after a disappointing AFCON campaign with Algeria.
31st January – Liverpool and Egypt’s Mo Salah leads the pack after a blistering first half of the season with the Reds. Robert Lewandowski is just behind the winger, while teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe are the third and fourth favourites.
About the data
We monitor trends in odds on key markets of interest by tracking a range of UK and international bookmakers. The update frequency varies, but is clearly shown on all our tables and charts. After fetching odds direct from bookies, we convert them to implied probability to make them easier to manage (read more on implied probability and converting from fractional to % probability). We then take the mean average implied probability to get a consensus view across the betting industry. This average implied probability is what we show on our charts and tables.
Let’s take a look at what the Ballon d’Or is, how it’s decided and who has won it in the past.
Ballon d’Or History
The Ballon d’Or is an annual award presented by France Football to the best performing footballer over the past calendar year. The award is generally considered the highest individual honour a football player can receive. The first Ballon d’Or was awarded in 1956 to Stanley Matthews.
From 2010 to 2015 the Ballon d’Or was merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year Award, though it is now once again independently awarded by France Football. Since 2018 an award has also been presented to the best female player, the Ballon d’Or Feminin.
Ballon d’Or Voting
The Ballon d’Or winner is chosen from 30 nominees by a panel of journalists. The 30-man shortlist is chosen by the editorial staff of France Football, and then an international jury of journalists from a number of different nations vote for the winner. Each country has one representative journalist. A full ranking of all nominees is given during the ceremony before the winner is announced.
Each journalist selects their top five best players, with six points going to the first selection, four to the second, three to the third, two to the fourth and one to the player listed in fifth. The voting is based on set criteria, which are considered in the following order:
Individual and collective performances from the past year
Player class, which France Football defines as “talent and fair play”
The player’s overall career
Ballon d’Or Winners
For the majority of its history, the Ballon d’Or has produced a wide variety of winners, with a new player taking the prize most years. However, from 2008-2017 the award was shared exclusively between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, both winning a record five each whilst playing for La Liga clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, and Manchester United in the case of Ronaldo.
Real Madrid’s Luke Modric broke that stronghold by winning the 2018 award, and though both Ronaldo and Messi are still in contention, the award is now much more open than it has been for most of the past decade.
Lionel Messi was named 2019 FIFA Player of the Year, beating Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo. The former Barcelona forward won a record sixth Ballon d Or title.
Number of Wins
7 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021)
5 (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
3 (1983, 1984, 1985)
3 (1971, 1973, 1974)
Marco van Basten
3 (1988, 1989, 1992)
The Favourites to Claim the Award in 2022
Mohamed Salah had a sensational first half to the 2021/22 Premier League season, netting 15 goals before the new year. By his incredibly high standards, the Egyptian international’s form dipped somewhat following his country’s loss in the final of 2022’s Africa Cup of Nations. Nevertheless, Salah still finished the season on 23 league goals, sharing the Golden Boot with Tottenham’s Son Heung-min.
He has played a key part in a hugely successful season for his club Liverpool, who were consistently tipped as quadruple contenders throughout the season. The Reds defeated Chelsea twice on penalties to win both the EFL Cup and FA Cup, and reached the Champions League final after knocking out Villareal with a 5–2 aggregate win, with Salah setting up Fabinho for a crucial goal to put his side back in the lead in the second leg.
Salah finished seventh in the 2021 Ballon d’Or, marking the third year running that he’s finished outside the top three. He has had more success with the FIFA Men’s Footballer of the Year award, finishing third for the second time in 2021.
Robert Lewandowski has undoubtedly become the world’s best striker in the last two years, scoring 55 goals in the 2019-20 season and 48 in 2020-21. The Polish striker has been in similarly sparkling form this campaign, netting goals left right and centre in both the Bundesliga and in international competitions.
He has been unfortunate in recent years when it’s come to the Ballon d’Or, however, with his sensational recent form coinciding with the disruption caused by the pandemic. He missed out on claiming the trophy in 2020 when the competition was cancelled and came second behind Messi in 2021 after the PSG man finally claimed a national trophy with Argentina.
But Messi’s struggles in Paris this season could leave the door open for the prolific Pole to finally lay his hands on the famed trophy, adding it to his Best FIFA Men’s Player Awards from 2020 and 2021.
Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or a record seven times in his career, with the latest coming in 2021 following his Copa America triumph with Argentina.
The diminutive forward is undoubtedly one of the greatest players of all time, but his form has dipped significantly since his high-profile move to PSG in the summer of 2021. With goals and assists hard to come by this time around, an opportunity could preset itself for his rivals to lay claim to the trophy. At 34, his opportunities are certainly running out.
Perhaps the only route to claiming an eighth Ballon d’Or is for Messi to help win PSG the title they crave the most, the UEFA Champions League. The closest the Parisians have ever got to the holy grail of European football was the final in 2020, which they lost to Bayern Munich. Could Messi be the man to bring them the success they crave so much?
Kylian Mbappé is one of the finest players of his generation and is destined to dominate world football for the next 10 years at least. But is now his moment to win a maiden Ballon d’Or?
The Frenchman already has four Ligue 1 titles and a World Cup to his name, all before the age of 24, a record few others in the history of the sport can match.
The talented forward scored 28 league goals for Paris Saint-Germain on their way to winning the title, and notched up a sublime 39 goals in 46 games in all competitions. After snubbing Real Madrid to commit his future to PSG for the next three years, Mbappé’s career continues to excite fans around the world.
Following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in 2018, few could have predicted that the man to fill his shoes would be Karim Benzema. The forward was seemingly ostracised from the French national team in 2015 and could only boast an inconsistent goalscoring record for Los Blancos.
But, from 2018 onwards, the Frenchman has stepped up to the plate. He hasn’t slipped below 20 goals a season for four campaigns now and even earned a recall to the national side for Euro 2020.
Benzema not only picked up a La Liga winner’s medal in the 2021/22 season as Real Madrid finished 13 points clear at the top of the table, but also finished as top scorer with 27 goals. What’s more, the striker’s role in dragging Real Madrid to the Champions League final cannot be overstated, as he scored hugely important goals in the latter stages of the competition against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, before Los Blancos went onto beat Liverpool 1–0 in the final and lift the trophy for a 14th time.
Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgian playmaker enjoyed an excellent 2021/22 Premier League season as his side Manchester City were crowned champions, edging ahead of rivals Liverpool by just one point. His 15 league goals and 8 assists in 30 games also earned him the Player of the Season award, with his four goals against Wolves in a 5–1 win towards the end of the campaign marking one of many standout performances.
De Bruyne finished 8th in the 2021 Ballon d’Or, his highest finish to date. Only time will tell whether the midfielder’s Premier League accolades will be enough to catapult him to 1st place, or if Manchester City’s failure to get their hands on the Champions League for another season will hold him back.
After playing such an important role in the latter half of Liverpool’s 2021/22 season, Ballon d’Or betting sites will certainly be considering Sadio Mané one to watch. The Senegalese forward scored 16 goals and registered 2 assists during the league campaign with his club as they enjoyed an EFL and FA Cup double, despite disappointment in the Champions League final.
It was his country’s victory in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, however, that Mané declared as the best day of his life and the best trophy of his life. Playing a major role in Senegal’s first ever AFCON win may just give Mané the edge in the run up to the Ballon d’Or over some of his esteemed rivals.
How to Make the Most Informed Bet
Most recent Ballon d’Or winners have won by a wide margin, with three of the last four winners gaining at least 200 more votes than second place. However, there were only 33 points between last year’s winner, Lionel Messi, and second-placed Robert Lewandowski, which means that picking a winner is not easy, so it’s important to do your research before betting on the Ballon d’Or.
It’s important to remember that award doesn’t simply go to whoever scores the most goals. Individual performances in certain tournaments and trophies won by a player are also big factors.
For example, while Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo recorded much more impressive numbers, Luka Modric’s 2018 win was largely put down to his performances during the 2018 World Cup. Modric led an unfancied Croatia to an unprecedented final, while Messi and Ronaldo both struggled to make an impact on the world’s biggest football competition.
This means its important to carefully consider each candidates achievements from the past year and pay close attention to the Ballon d’Or odds.
Yes. Some of the best sports betting sites have welcome bonuses and promotions such as free bets that you can use to bet on the Ballon d’Or. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to meet the minimum odds requirement, and your winnings may also be subject to wagering requirements. Always read the terms and conditions before claiming a betting bonus.
Sure. All the UK betting sites on our list have mobile optimised websites, so you can sign up and do your Ballon d’Or betting on your smartphone. Some of the best bookies also have mobile apps which make mobile betting faster, more convenient and have push notifications to alert you to the latest promotions.
This depends on where you live. The 2018 ceremony was broadcast on US, Canadian and French TV, but not on UK TV. There was no official YouTube stream either. Streams and channels hosting the event will be announced before the ceremony takes place.
No. If two or more players receive an equal amount of votes, the award goes to the player which was selected in the first place the most times. If this is not decisive, it goes to the number of second and then third places. If this still desn’t decide things, a new round of voting takes place between the tied players.
See our references & visit related external links
Please note that Compare.bet is not responsible for the content of third-party websites.
Ben is former editor at Compare.bet, specialising in all things gambling and football. He has an MA in American History and extensive writing experience with bylines in a range of different publications, from Breaking the Lines to CLASH. As well as covering Premier League for Compare.bet news, he also wrote about the Championship and a range of European football topics. In his spare time, Ben enjoys music production and playing football.
Daniel is Head of Operations at Compare.bet. He has half a decade of experience writing on topics including sports betting, online casino and the NBA. Daniel also covers Premier League football for Compare.bet news and has interviewed Louis Saha, Richard Dunne and Gary Pallister. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys film photography and making Spotify playlists.