Sport

Why Lionel Messi missed 2022 Ballon d’Or nomination

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The nominees for the 2022 Men’s Ballon d’Or were unveiled on Friday, and for the first time since 2005, Argentine maestro Lionel Messi was missing on the 30-man shortlist.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner failed to make it to the final list, while his former La Liga rival, Cristiano Ronaldo was listed for the prestigious honour conferred on outstanding footballers.

Messi suffered an underwhelming first season at Paris Saint-Germain after parting ways with Barcelona. The 35-year-old managed to score only 11 goals for the French side, in what has been described as his worst performance since the 2005/2006 campaign.

However, Emmanuel Bojan, a journalist for France Football, the organisers of the Ballon d’Or, explained the reason for Messi’s snub.

“The Argentinian was part of the discussions to integrate the 30, but the new criteria for the Ballon d’Or were unfavorable to him: disappearance of the criterion of a player’s entire career, and new periodicity, modeled on a season of football and no longer over a calendar year, which does not make it possible to integrate the Copa America of July 11, 2021,” he said.

“And then, it must be admitted that his first season in Paris was very disappointing both in terms of the visual impression and the statistics.”

Below is the full list of nominees for this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Thibaut Courtois (BEL, Real Madrid)

Rafael Leao (POR, AC Milan)

Mohamed Salah (EGY, Liverpool)

Joshua Kimmich (GER, Bayern Munich)

Christopher Nkunku (FRA, RB Leipzig)

Trent Alexander-Arnold (ANG, Liverpool)

Robert Lewandowski (POL, Bayern Munich then FC Barcelona)

Bernardo Silva (POR, Manchester City)

Vinicius Junior (BRE, Real Madrid)

Luis Diaz (COL, FC Porto then Liverpool)

Karim Benzema (FRA, Real Madrid)

Fabinho (BRE, Liverpool)

Riyad Mahrez (ALG, Manchester City)

Heung-min Son (CDS, Tottenham)

Casemiro (BRE, Real Madrid)

Phil Foden (ENG, Manchester City)

Harry Kane (ENG, Tottenham)

Sadio Mané (SEN, Liverpool then Bayern Munich).

Darwin Nunez (URU, Benfica then Liverpool)

Mike Maignan (FRA, AC Milan)

Kevin De Bruyne (BEL, Manchester City)

Sébastien Haller (CIV, Ajax then Borussia Dortmund)

Luka Modric (CRO, Real Madrid)

Cristiano Ronaldo (POR, Manchester United)

Antonio Rüdiger (GER, Chelsea then Real Madrid)

Joao Cancelo (POR, Manchester City)

Erling Haaland (NOR, Borussia Dortmund then Manchester City)

Kylian Mbappé (FRA, PSG)

Virgil Van Dijk (HOL, Liverpool)

Dusan Vlahovic (SER, Fiorentina then Juventus).

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