This is the first time since joining Barcelona in 2004 that Messi has not even been nominated for the award. Biggest winner of the Ballon d’Or, with seven trophies (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021), the Argentine ace has not known what it’s like not to be among the candidates for 17 years (since 2005).
Messi and Neymar out of the nominees for the 2022 Ballon d’Or – Photo: John Berry/Getty Images
Neymar, who has always dreamed of being elected the best in the world since he started at Santos, seems increasingly distant from fulfilling his desire, now 30 years old. This is the second time in four years that the PSG forward has not been nominated for the Ballon d’Or. Before 2019, for example, in only one time (2018) that the Brazilian ace had not even been in the top-15 of the election.
In addition to Messi and Neymar, other prominent names in world football were also not nominated for the 2022 Ballon d’Or. was not remembered by France Football.
Still in midfield, Thiago Alcântara, a big name in the Liverpool sector, current runner-up in the Champions League and Premier League, was also not nominated for the award this year.
Big names in the attack in recent years have also been left out of the Ballon d’Or. Lukaku, who returned to Inter Milan this transfer window after a stint at Chelsea, and Luis Suarez, who left Atletico Madrid to return to Nacional do Uruguay, are not in the top 30 of the awards. The same goes for Cavani, without a club since leaving Manchester United, and Ibrahimovic, who was in Milan’s title campaign but had to deal with serious injuries all season. Rodrygo, who secured Real Madrid in the Champions League grand final, was not remembered by France Football voters.
The awarding of the Ballon d’Or was made for the first time in 1956. Until 1995, the award was given only to players of European nationalities. In 2006, another change: players who played outside European football, anywhere in the world, were included. Between 2010 and 2015, the award was unified with the trophy for the best in the world given by FIFA – today, the awards are separated again.
Check out the 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or:
- Antonio Rüdiger (ALE, Real Madrid, defender)
- Bernardo Silva (ENG, Manchester City, midfielder)
- Casemiro (BRA, Real Madrid, midfielder)
- Christopher Nkunku (FRA, RB Leipzig, midfielder)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (ENG, Manchester United, forward)
- Darwin Núñez (URU, Liverpool, forward)
- Dusan Vlahovic (SER, Juventus, forward)
- Erling Haaland (NOR, Manchester City, forward)
- Fabinho (BRA, Liverpool, midfielder)
- Harry Kane (ING, Tottenham, forward)
- Heung-Min Son (COR, Tottenham, forward)
- João Cancelo (POR, Manchester City, right-back)
- Joshua Kimmich (ALE, Bayern Munich, midfielder)
- Karim Benzema (FRA, Real Madrid, forward)
- Kevin de Bruyne (BEL, Manchester City, midfielder)
- Kylian Mbappé (FRA, PSG, forward)
- Luis Diaz (COL, Liverpool, forward)
- Luka Modric (CRO, Real Madrid, midfielder)
- Mike Maignan (FRA, Milan, goalkeeper)
- Mohamed Salah (EGI, Liverpool, forward)
- Phil Foden (ING, Manchester City, forward)
- Rafael Leão ( POR, Milan, forward)
- Riyad Mahrez (ARG, Manchester City, midfielder)
- Robert Lewandowski (POL, Barcelona, forward)
- Sadio Mané (SEN, Bayern Munich, forward)
- Sébastien Haller (COS, Borussia Dortmund, forward)
- Thibaut Courtois (BEL, Real Madrid, goalkeeper)
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (ING, Liverpool, right-back)
- Vinicius Junior (BRA, Real Madrid, forward)
- Virgil van Dijk (HOL, Liverpool, centre-back)