Argentinian Lionel Messi, seven-time winner and crowned last year, is not part of the list of 30 nominated for the Ballon d’Or 2022 unveiled on Friday. His Brazilian PSG teammate, Neymar, is also absent, unlike the big favorite, the Frenchman Karim Benzema (Real Madrid). The Ballon d’Or 2022, proclaimed by the magazine french soccer, will be delivered on October 17. The non-nomination of Messi is quite an event, the Argentinian having been present among the contenders for the Ballon d’Or since 2006 and on the podium almost continuously since 2007, except in 2018.
A very complicated last season for Messi
But “La Pulga” (35), like Neymar, is coming out of a very complicated first season with PSG, with whom he scored only 11 goals in all competitions, failing in the knockout stages of the Champions League against Real Madrid. Five-time Portuguese winner Cristiano Ronaldo, whose return to Manchester United last summer was also not a great success, is a replacement.
His ex-Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema, who is a huge favorite to succeed Messi on the list, is also well and truly present. The Frenchman was the main architect of Real’s 14th coronation in C1, the competition’s top scorer finalist (15). In 2021/2022, Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 appearances for the Madrid club, also winning the Spanish Championship.
Benzema, the second top scorer in the history of Real
By doubling the bet against Frankfurt (2-0) on Wednesday in the European Supercup, the ex-Lyonnais (34) also became the second best artificer in the history of Real with 324 achievements, ahead of Madrid legend Raul. To his club exploits, Benzema also added the final season in the Nations League, his first trophy with the France team.
The Blues have a total of four candidates in the list for the Ballon d’Or (Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappé, Mike Maignan, Christopher Nkunku) and two for the Yachine award for best goalkeeper (Hugo Lloris, Mike Maignan). 20 nominees are also in lice for the Women’s Ballon d’Or. We find the defending champion Alexia Putellas and the Norwegian from Lyon Ada Hegerberg, the first winner in 2018. The Ballon d’Or is changing format this year since it will now focus on the performances achieved during the sports season and not on the ‘calendar year.