Lionel Messi is a shock exclusion on this year’s Ballon d’Or list, with the 2022 nominees revealed.
The award, organized in conjunction with France Football, celebrates the best players in world football, with the main prize being one of the most coveted in world football.
Messi has won the most Ballon d’Or awards in the competition’s history with a total of seven top prizes, but misses the shortlist of 30 finalists for the 2022 award.
The Argentine star made a surprise move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2021 but struggled to show his best form in his first year with the Ligue 1 side.
This is despite scoring 11 goals in 34 appearances for the club as Messi didn’t make the shortlist for the first time since 2005.
Messi’s teammate Neymar is also absent from the shortlist after suffering an injury campaign in Paris in which he managed just 28 appearances in all competitions.
Much to Messi’s frustration, Cristiano Ronaldo is among the nominees for the award after scoring 24 goals in all competitions in his first season at Manchester United.
As for the Premier League, the English domestic league is well represented with 14 of the 30 nominees currently under contract with elite clubs.
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Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Virgil van Dijk are all nominated, as are Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Son Heung-min and Man United’s Ronaldo.
Joao Cancelo, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Erling Haaland, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva are also nominated, bringing Man City’s involvement in the shortlist to six.
Along with Kylian Mbappe, one of the favorites for the award is Karim Benzema.
The Real Madrid striker had the season of his life last season with the French forward scoring 45 goals and providing 12 assists in all competitions for the Champions League winners.
With Messi not among the nominees, Benzema will be among the players hoping to claim the honor at the award ceremony later this year.
Here is the full list of 30 nominees for the award.
2022 Ballon d’Or nominees
2022 Ballon d’Or nominees
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool
Karim Benzema, Real Madrid
Joao Cancelo, Man City
Casemiro, Real Madrid
Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United,
Kevin De BruyneManchester City
Luis Diaz, Liverpool, Fabinho, Liverpool
Phil Foden, Manchester City
Erling Haaland, Manchester City
Sebastien Haller, Borussia Dortmund
Harry Kane, Tottenham
Joshua Kimmich, Bayern Munich
Rafael Leao, AC Milan
Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona
Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City
Mike Maignan, AC Milan
Sadio Mane, Bayern Munich
Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain
Luke ModricReal Madrid
Christopher Nkunku, RB Leipzig
Darwin Nunez, Liverpool
Antonio Rudiger, Real Madrid
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool
Bernardo SilvaMan City
Son Heung-min, Tottenham
Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool
Vinicius Junior, Real Madrid
Dusan Vlahovic, Juve
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