France Football names 30-man shortlist for 2022 Ballon d'Or award, Lionel Messi misses out for the first time since 2005

Messi did not make the cut after scoring 11 goals in 34 matches for PSG last season.

Abhishek SandikarAuthor

Updated - 13 August 2022 12:51 PM

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Paris Saint Germain forward Lionel Messi has been excluded from the 30-man shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d'Or award. The Argentine star has the most Ballon d'Or in the football history (seven), but he did not make the cut after scoring 11 goals in 34 matches for Le Parisians last season. 

His teammate Neymar Jr. was also not on the list. The Brazilian forward had just played 28 times for PSG last season with several injuries. Whereas PSG’s star forward Kylian Mbappe did make the list and is one of the favourites for the award.

Leo Messi’s arch-rival and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is also included in the list after he netted 18 goals in 31 matches for Manchester United last season. CR7’s former club Real Madrid had multiple inclusions in the list in Karim Benzema with his 44 goals, emerging as the number one contender for the honour. 

Other Los Blancos stars include Thibaut Courtois, who was also named in the Yachine Trophy shortlist given to the best goalkeeper. Champions League final goal scorer Vinicius Junior, Luka Modric and Casemiro are also part of the list in the top 30 for the main prize. New signing Antonio Rudiger, who had an incredible season for Chelsea last season is on the list.

2021-22 Premier League golden boot winner and assist leader Mohamed Salah from Liverpool is also included in the list. He is joined by teammates Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luis Diaz, Fabinho and Darwin Nunez. Fellow Premier League players Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son represent Tottenham on the list.

Premier League champions Manchester City have Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo and new signing Erling Haaland are also on the list. AC Milan's Rafael Leao and goalkeeper Mike Maignan are also on the list after winning the Serie A title.

Bundesliga also has some heavy hitters on the list like Sadio Mane, Christopher Nkunku, Sebastian Haller and Joshua Kimich. Other stars on the list are Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski and Juventus's Dusan Vlahovic.

Here's the complete list of nominees for Ballon d'Or

Thibaut Courtois, Rafael Leao, Christopher Nkunku, Mohamed Salah, Joshua Kimmich, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Vinicius Junior, Bernardo Silva, Luis Diaz, Robert Lewandowski, Riyad Mahrez, Casemiro, Heung-Min Son, Fabinho, Karim Benzema, Mike Maignan, Harry Kane, Darwin Nunez, Phil Foden, Sadio Mane, Sebastien Haller, Luka Modric, Antonio Rudiger, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Dusan Vlahovic, Virgil van Dijk, Joao Cancelo, Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.

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