The highest individual accolade in football is set to be awarded once more in 2022.
France Football set to announce 2022 Ballon d'Or nominees this Friday
The nominees for the Ballon d'Or Awards will be officially revealed this Friday with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Asisat Oshoala expected to feature.
France Football's highly-coveted award are set to release their annual shortlist of Ballon d'Or nominees on Friday, August 12 2022 for both the men's and women's prizes.
The shortlist for the men's award will contain 30 names while the women's award will be made up of 20 players.
There will also be 10-player shortlists which will also be announced for the Yashin (best goalkeeper) and Kopa (best under-21 player) awards on Friday as well.
The Ballon d'Or awards will finally be handed out at a gala event that will take place at the Theatre du Chatelet, in Paris on October 17, 2022.
What is the Ballon d'Or?
The Ballon d'Or or Golden Ball award is an annual accolade organized by France Football and was conceived by Gabriel Hanot and Jacques Ferran.
The award was first presented in 1956 when Stanley Matthews of Blackpool won it with Alfredo Di Stefano and Raymond Kopa both of Real Madrid second and third.
Originally, the award was open to just European players, but in 1995 the criteria was expanded to players of any nationality playing at a European club.
In 2007 it was finally expanded again to become a global award. The first women's Ballon d'Or was awarded in 2018 with Ada Hegerberg of Lyon becoming the first woman on the planet to win the accolade.
Between 2010 and 2015, France Football and FIFA brought their respective awards - the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year, together under the guise of the FIFA Ballon d'Or. However, that partnership ended in 2017.
What is the Criteria for the 2022 Ballon d'Or Awards?
The criteria for this year's award has slightly changed compared to previous years.
France Football have decided to base the award on a player's performance over a typical football season - so from August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022 rather than being awarded for excellence over a calendar year.
With that in mind, some African footballers are expected to feature in this year's nominee list with the usual suspects of Senegal's Sadio Mane and Egypt's Mohamed Salah leading the continent in the men's football category while Nigeria's Asisat Oshoala is also expected to also feature in the women's list following her Pichichi award with Barca Femeni last season.
Having won the CAF Award for the Men's Player of the year, Mane won the AFCON earlier this year with Senegal while helping Liverpool to win two trophies domestically (FA Cup and Carabao Cup).
The Bayern Munich star also helped his former side reach the finals of the Champions League last season.
While Liverpool's Salah also achieved another individual feat winning two domestic trophies with Liverpool, leading his nation to the finals of the AFCON, which they lost as well as helping his side to the Champions League final.
Apart from the UEFA Women's Champions League which Barca Femeni failed to defend, Super Falcons star Asisat Oshoala won every trophy at club-level with the Catalan giants as well as winning the CAF Awards for the Women's Player of the year.
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