The five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo has finished twentieth on the list for the 2022 edition of the awards. This is the 37-year-old’s lowest-ever ranking, coming at the back of a dismal 2021-22 season with Manchester United.
The winner of the 2022 Ballon d’Or will be announced on Monday and Real Madrid number 9 Karim Benzema is the favourite to bag the award.
Although Ronaldo scored 24 times in all competitions last season, including 18 in the Premier League, Manchester United could not win silverware with him as their frontman. They finished sixth in the league table and are currently competing in the UEFA Europa League.
The Portuguese star started the 2022-23 season amidst a lot of speculation over whether he will leave United after a dream return to Old Trafford last season. His performances have echoed such dissatisfaction as he has so found the net only two times in all competitions so far.
With his retirement from professional football on the offing, the 37-year-old had explicitly made his desire to play in the UEFA Champions League clear. Speculation over his departure from United was also in this pursuit.
However, there was no club willing to take on Cristiano Ronaldo during the 2022 summer transfer window. Rumours say that he will look to leave the club again when the transfer window opens in January.
Ronaldo has received 18 nominations this year and will be finishing ahead of Tottenham Hotspurs’ Harry Kane (21st) and Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva (21st). At 20th, this will be his joint lowest ranking since finishing in the same spot in 2005 along with former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.
Considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, Ronaldo holds a number of career milestones. Last week, during United’s Premier League clash with Merseyside club Everton, he came off the bench and scored the 700th goal in his club career, helping his team to a 2-1 victory.
Over the years, one of Ronaldo’s greatest rivals for the Ballon d’Or title has been Lionel Messi. After winning the award in 2021, the Argentine star has missed out on the final shortlist this year.