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  • Updated: August 13, 2022

Messi Misses Ballon d'Or List For First Time In 16 Years

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

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Seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi was absent for the first time in more than a decade on the 30-man list for this year's coveted football award.

Messi, who won the title last year, had been an ever-present among the nominations since 2006 and a regular feature in the top three since 2007 with the exception of 2018.

But Messi, 35, has missed out on the 2022 award following his switch from Barcelona to the French capital.

A change in the format has also worked against the Argentine superstar with the Ballon d'Or no longer acknowledging the best player over a calendar year.

Instead, it is based on a season's record highlighting "the individual performances" and the "decisive and impressive character" of the nominees, according to the criteria.

After leaving Barcelona in the summer of 2021, Messi was unable to stamp his genius on a PSG team desperate for a Champions League title.

The French champions suffered a last-16 exit at the hands of eventual winners Real Madrid.

In total, Messi scored only 11 goals for PSG with his relatively indifferent club form failing to impress France Football magazine, the organisers of the Ballon d'Or which will be awarded in Paris on October 17.

PSG teammate Neymar also misses out after a season where he scored 13 goals in 28 matches.

Benzema Tops List To Become 5th French Player To Win

French international striker Karim Benzema is the overwhelming favourite after being the architect of Real Madrid's 14th Champions League title.

He finished the European campaign with 15 goals.

Benzema is likely to become the fifth French winner after Raymond Kopa (1958), Michel Platini (1983, 1984, 1985), Jean-Pierre Papin (1991) and Zinedine Zidane (1998).

In the 2021/2022 season, Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 appearances for a Madrid side that also won the Liga title.

His goal in Wednesday's 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the European Super Cup took the 34-year-old to 324 goals for the Spanish giants.

That edged him ahead of Raul in the club's all-time list with only Cristiano Ronaldo in front of him with 450.

"He's in line for the Ballon d'Or. Is there any doubt? For me, no," said Real coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Manchester United's Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner, is nominated again this year.

Benzema is joined on the 30-man list by teammates Thibaut Courtois, Casemiro, 2018 winner Luka Modric, Vinicius and former Chelsea player Antonio Rudiger.

Liverpool Have Six (6) Players Nominated

Beaten Champions League finalists Liverpool have six players nominated, the most of any club.

They are Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luis Diaz, Fabinho, Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dijk.

Bayern Munich has one player Sadio Mane who we could have been placed under Liverpool but has joined the German club, and so is Robert Lewandowski who recently joined Barcelona.

Women Ballon d'Or List

There is a 20-strong list for the women's Ballon d'Or including English stars Bronze, Millie Bright and Arsenal forward Beth Mead who won the Golden Boot at the women's Euro.

France have four nominations – Selma Bacha, Kadidiatou Diani, Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Wendie Renard.

Defending champion Alexia Putellas, who was ruled out of the Euros with a last-minute injury, and Norwegian star Ada Hegerberg, the first winner of the prize in 2018, are also in the running.

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

More From this Author

Ligue 1 2022/2023 TABLE

Ligue 1
Full Table

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

Lionel Messi
Lionel
Messi
AR Argentina
  • HEIGHT

    169cm

  • WEIGHT

    72kg

  • AGE

    35

Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut
Courtois
BE Belgium
  • HEIGHT

    1.99m

  • WEIGHT

    96kg

  • AGE

    30

Sadio Mane
Sadio
Mane
SN Senegal
  • HEIGHT

    1.75 m

  • WEIGHT

    69 kg

  • AGE

    30

Robert Lewandowski
Robert
Lewandowski
PL Poland
  • HEIGHT

    678

  • WEIGHT

    81 kg

  • AGE

    34

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

Barcelona
Barcelona

Futbol Club Barcelona commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça is a Spanish professional football club base...

Real Madrid
Real Madrid

Real Madrid Club de Fútbol (meaning Royal Madrid Football Club), commonly referred to as Real Madrid, is a Spanish professional football...

Liverpool
Liverpool

Liverpool Football Club is a professional football club in Liverpool, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English ...

Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich

Fußball-Club Bayern München e.V. commonly known as FC Bayern München, Bayern Munich, or FC Bayern, is a German professional sports c...

Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain Football Club commonly referred to as Paris Saint-Germain, Paris SG, or simply Paris or PSG, are a French profes...

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