12 Apr 2022 | 14:38 | Football
Goals, goals and goals. When it comes to the prestigious Golden Ball award, the goal is often considered the most weighty measure.
Mohamed Salah has started the season on fire. Give him the Ballon d’Or. Robert Lewandowski scored the fastest hat-trick in history in the knockout round of the Champions League. Give him the Ballon d’Or.
Kylian Mbappe has the decisive goal to defeat Real Madrid in the first leg of the 1/8 Champions League round, better than Lionel Messi and Neymar. The Ballon d’Or is difficult to slip out of the hands of this player. Karim Benzema’s consecutive hat-trick? Okay, maybe now you have no competition.
De Bruyne deserves recognition
Recent developments show that the four players mentioned above are the leading candidates for the 2022 Ballon d’Or title. In which, Benzema is the most appreciated by European bookmakers when the French striker helps Real dominate La Liga and is currently playing. on the way to conquering the Champions League.
However, the value that De Bruyne brings to Man City cannot be ignored. His quality performance against Liverpool proved he can be a counterweight to Benzema.
Mbappe and PSG are no longer in the Champions League but Benzema, Lewandowski and Salah are still present in the continent’s number one competition with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Liverpool respectively looking to reach the semi-finals this week.
Everyone knows that success in Europe often determines the winner of the Ballon d’Or. The new award format allows France Football to award the prize before the World Cup in winter. That means success or failure in the Champions League will be decisive.
With Man City, even though they have a high probability of winning the Champions League, not a single player of the Etihad Stadium team is on the list of the 5 brightest candidates. In the most recent survey, De Bruyne ranked 8th.
But this season, “The Citizens” is facing a historic opportunity. They are crossing the finish line on all 3 fronts (FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League). At that time, De Bruyne needs to be recognized more worthy.
The Belgian midfielder has stood out on this journey, always reaching his peak at the right time. Even in a world where goal metrics take precedence, De Bruyne is no less competitive.
He scored the only goal of City’s tight win over Atletico Madrid last week, opening the scoring against Liverpool in a 2-2 Premier League draw. If Ballon d’Or is really based on goals, then his contribution in the big games must be valued.
Before that, De Bruyne scored an equalizer against Liverpool in October, another against Chelsea in January and a brace against Manchester United in March.
The 30-year-old star even scored 6 goals in the last 7 matches for Man City. But of course, his value is not only in the goals. He had a class performance and was selected as the best player in the draw with Liverpool and the win against Atletico.
If Riyad Mahrez finishes more accurately, De Bruyne’s assist will be repeated thousands of times. It was the pass that brought the Premier League title.
But regardless of the miss, De Bruyne’s snip was still classy and a perfect pass that not many players can pull off.
Man City need the title
De Bruyne’s passes through the opponent’s defense are not new. But Man City manager Pep Guardiola is still very pleased with the Belgian’s performance.
“I like that he is not only a player who assists, but also scores a lot of goals. I told him he has to score more goals to get to the next level in his career ,” Guardiola said after the draw with Liverpool.
“He is scoring a lot of goals and creating a lot of chances. It should be known that he is playing in a very difficult position, especially against Liverpool because the space is too narrow. His vision with the pass to Mahrez is really special.”
If De Bruyne wins the Ballon d’Or, perhaps there won’t be much controversy. But it is clear that the former Chelsea star needs the title to surpass top scorers like Lewandowski, Benzema or Mbappe.
Winning the Champions League could help De Bruyne. A treble? That will increase De Bruyne’s chances. With a team well on its way to correcting last season’s mistakes, De Bruyne has reason to be hopeful.
De Bruyne does not score as many goals as Benzema but his influence is equally important. At this rate, De Bruyne will certainly make Benzema wary in the fight for the Ballon d’Or.
An early final between Man City and Real Madrid in the next round of the Champions League? It is the moment to determine whether Benzema or De Bruyne can overcome the opponent and get closer to the 2022 Ballon d’Or title.