The nominees for the 66th edition of the Ballon d'Or will be revealed on Friday (August 12) and there is one major change.
For the first time in the history of the award, players will be judged on their performances over the course of the previous season.
Until now, the Ballon d'Or was presented to the player voted to have been the best in the world over the course of a calendar year.
2022 Ballon d'Or Key Dates
Nominees will be announced for the men's and women's Ballon d'Or awards, as well as the Yashin Trophy (for the best goalkeeper) and the Kopa Trophy (for the best player aged 21 and under).
All award winners will be announced and their prizes presented at the 2022 Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris.
What Else Is New?
As reported by L'Equipe, the voting pool is being tightened up this year.
Not every nation that has voted in previous years will retain such privileges.
Only representatives from the top 100 nations in FIFA's world rankings will be able to vote for the men's award, with voting restricted to experts from the top 50 nations for the women's prize.
Voters are asked to judge players based on three criteria.
The first two remain unchanged from previous editions. Number one is a player's individual performance. Number two is the success achieved by their team.
Number three is where the significant change has been made. Judges were previously encouraged to considers the "player's career", which was likely a major factor behind Lionel Messi winning the award for a record seventh time in 2021, despite having an unspectacular year by his standards.
Instead of looking at achievements from previous seasons, the third criteria now focuses on a player's conduct relating to fair play.
Who Is The Favorite To Win The 2022 Ballon d'Or?
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema is the undisputed favorite among bookmakers for the men's prize.
Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 games for Real last season, inspiring their Champions League and La Liga title triumphs.
Meanwhile, Sadio Mane is heavily tipped to finish second in the vote.
Mane was an integral part of the Liverpool team that ended last season just two wins shy of recording an unprecedented quadruple, although the Reds ultimately had to settle for just EFL Cup and FA Cup glory.
But Mane, who left Liverpool to join Bayern Munich this summer, also enjoyed success in the international arena.
Mane was the talisman of his Senegal side that won the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time ever.