Some of the biggest names in world football will not be in the Ballon d’Or race this year. The Ballon d’Or is the highest individual award in football. Only a few of the greatest to have put on a pair of cleats were able to get their hands on the prestigious trophy.
The 2022 Ballon d’Or race is the most exciting in years
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have exercised a sort of duopoly over the Ballon d’Or lately. The couple have won 12 of the last 13 editions of the award. But will they also be part of the 2022 Ballon d’Or race?
There are plenty of top contenders in the Ballon d’Or race this year and it’s hard to predict which direction it will go.
Without further ado, let’s look at five superstars who have no chance of winning the Ballon d’Or this year.
#5 Pedri (Spain/Barcelona)
Pedri was voted ‘Young Player of the Tournament’ at Euro 2020 for his exploits with the Spanish national team. He was also named to the ‘Team of the Tournament’. Pedri was just 18 at the time and has been incredibly impressive in his short but spectacular professional career so far.
However, Barcelona have had a rather poor season by their own standards. The Catalans have been trophyless this season and Pedri’s involvement has been limited due to injury concerns.
He’s only made a total of 22 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona this season. This is in stark contrast to the 52 appearances he made in all competitions for the Catalans during the 2020-21 campaign.
Pedri has scored five goals and provided one assist from central midfield for his club this season.
#4 Erling Haaland (Norway/Borussia Dortmund)
According to the reliable fabrice romano, Erling Haaland to Manchester City is a done deal. Manchester City are already one of the best teams in the world and now that the Norwegian sniper joins them, they will become even more intimidating.
But Haaland has had a rather forgettable season this time around. He hasn’t featured much for the Bundesliga outfit this term due to multiple injury issues. With Norway failing to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, unfortunately we won’t see Haaland on the biggest stage of them all.
In 29 appearances in all competitions for Borussia Dortmund this season, Haaland has scored 28 goals and provided eight assists.
#3 Neymar Jr. (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain)
Neymar Jr. is another top star we’ve seen very little of in the 2021-22 season. The Brazil international has also struggled with multiple injury issues and has been sidelined for most of the season.
He has played some very good football since his return in February. However, he only won the Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain this season. This is unlikely to give him a boost in the Ballon d’Or race this year, especially as there have been plenty of great performers elsewhere in Europe.
Neymar has scored 12 goals and provided eight assists in 27 appearances in all competitions for PSG so far this season.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Manchester United)
Cristiano Ronaldo played a major role in Portugal’s qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Unfortunately for him, he endured a totally forgettable season at Manchester United. The Red Devils have never been so bad in the Premier League era and even Ronaldo’s heroism could only do so much for them.
The 37-year-old is still going strong and is third on the Premier League goalscoring list this season, with 18 goals in 30 appearances. In total, he has scored 24 times and provided three assists in 39 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils.
However, the complete absence of silverware will deal a blow to his Ballon d’Or aspirations. Ronaldo has little to no chance of winning the prestigious award this season.
#1 Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi has had quite a strange season at PSG since joining the club last summer. He’s been one of the most prolific goalscorers on the planet for the past decade and a half. However, the Argentina international has struggled to find the back of the net consistently this season.
Messi has had a very ordinary season by his own high standards. He’s scored just nine goals and provided 13 assists in 32 appearances in all competitions so far this season. On an individual level, it’s arguably the worst season of Messi’s career so far.
He won the Ligue 1 title but the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has no chance of winning the prize again this year.