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Official: Real Madrid have the highest number of nominees for the Ballon d’Or 2022

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid enjoyed a sensational 2021/22 campaign as they won the La Liga title, lifted their 15th European crown by winning the UEFA Champions League and also bagged the Spanish Super Cup trophy.

Carlo Ancelotti & co. then started the new campaign by adding another trophy to their kitty by winning the UEFA Super Cup last month. All in all, it has been a tremendously successful year for Los Blancos and it is being reflected in the award season.

Karim Benzema was named the UEFA Best Player of the Year while Ancelotti won the Best Coach award. Vinicius Junior was the recipient of the UEFA Best Young Player of the Year award as well.

And now with the Ballon d’Or ceremony nearing, Real Madrid are also dominating the nominees’ list for the coveted prize from France Football.

Indeed, Real Madrid are the club with the joint-highest number of nominees for Ballon d’Or 2022, with as many as six Merengues’ stars in contention for the prize.

The aforementioned Benzema is the top contender for the award while key duo Vinicius Junior and Thibaut Courtois, who enjoyed a stunning season last time out are also in the running for the prize.

Along with the trio, ageless wonder Luka Modric is also named on the 30-man shortlist for the prize, along with new signing Antonio Rudiger, who was part of the team that won the UEFA Super Cup even though he was at Chelsea last season.

The sixth name on the list is Casemiro. Although the Brazilian has joined Manchester United, he is in the running for the prize for his contributions at Real Madrid during the 2021/22 campaign.

Along with Real Madrid, Liverpool, who lost to Los Blancos in the UCL final last season, also have six representatives in the Ballon d’Or race for this year. while Premier League champions Manchester City also have six names in the running.

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Real Madrid News

Key Real Madrid defender still not 100% fit ahead of Club World Cup semi-final – report

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Carlo Ancelotti heads into the FIFA Club World Cup in a pressure cooker situation. The pressure on the manager’s shoulders is immense, for his job could be on the line after Real Madrid’s poor run of form.

The injury situation does not favour the Italian tactician either. Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy, Karim Benzema, Eder Militao and even Thibaut Courtois are out of the semi-final against Al Ahly, leaving him very few options to play with.

According to reports from Jorge C Picon, David Alaba too is not completely fit yet. The Austrian International was given the medical all-clear and entered the squad for Real Madrid’s game against Mallorca, yet started on the bench as he was not at 100%, and that remains the case ahead of tonight’s clash.

The report, however, adds that his mere inclusion in the squad comes as a breather for Ancelotti. Alaba is highly valued by the technical staff, not only for his reading of the game on the field but also for his leadership.

The defender has already missed seven games for Los Blancos since sustaining a muscular injury against Villarreal at La Ceramica. He did indeed come off the bench for under half an hour against Mallorca, but will likely not be risked to start on Thursday. 

In his absence, Nacho Fernandez and Antonio Rudiger are expected to take centre stage in defence in Morocco. Eduardo Camavinga, meanwhile, could start as left-back again.

Alaba has played 17 games for Los Blancos this season and was one of the players with the most minutes until his injury. In his league campaign so far, he has scored one goal and provided three assists while also averaging a key pass every ninety minutes.

It remains to be seen if the Austrian recovers completely in time for the Club World Cup final should the European Champions make it. As it stands, using a cautious approach is in Real Madrid’s best interest.

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