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Seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi paid a high price for an underwhelming first season with Paris Saint-Germain when he was left off the 30-strong list for this year's coveted football award.

Karim Benzema has been nominated for the 2022 Ballon d’Or, but Lionel Messi and Neymar are not on the list. The award has been won by Messi seven times – more than any other player in history – but he did not make it to the list for the first time since 2005. Nominees for the best under-21 player and the world’s best goalkeeper have also been revealed.

France Football delivered the Ballon d’Or list on Friday night, with Karim Benzema being the number one to win the trophy this season. Interestingly starting around 2005, Lionel Messi for the first didn’t make the Top 30 list this year.

Seven-time Ballon d’Or champ Lionel Messi followed through on a significant expense for a disappointing first season with Paris Saint-Germain when he was left off the 30-in number top list during the current year’s coveted football award.


  • Thibaut Courtois (Real Madird)
  • Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
  • Rafael Leao (AC Milan)
  • Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)
  • Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
  • Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
  • Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
  • Luis Diaz (Liverpool)
  • Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
  • Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
  • Casemiro (Real Madrid)
  • Heung-Min Son (Tottenham)
  • Fabinho (Liverpool)
  • Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
  • Mike Maignan (AC Milan)
  • Harry Kane (Tottenham)
  • Darwin Nunez (Liverpool)
  • Phil Foden (Manchester City)
  • Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich)
  • Sebastien Haller (Borussia Dortmund)
  • Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
  • Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
  • Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
  • Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus)
  • Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
  • Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)
  • Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
  • Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

The winner will be crowned at the Ballon d’Or ceremony on October 17 in Paris.

Past of Ballon d'Or Award in reference to Lionel Messi

  • The last time Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or award was in 2021
  • This is the first time since 2005 that Lionel Messi is not on the shortlisted list.
  • France’s Karim Benzema stays number one to win the trophy.

Why No Ballon d'Or to Lionel Messi or Neymar

While it is a shock to see Lionel Messi, and Neymar’s names left off the Ballon d’Or waitlist, we had a suspicion that it could work out. Amaury Erdogan-Gutierrez had been investigating the chance recently. In a fascinating read, he questions whether the pair were meriting a spot in the main 30. Obviously, the response was no.

Ballon d'Or - Paris Saint-Germain F.C.Praise

It was a bizarre night for PSG with two of their greatest names Lionel Messi and Neymar passing up a put on the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.

Away from that title line news, they had a lot to be content about with Kylian Mbappe making the main 30, while Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani are in the running for the women’s award.
They likewise have 20-year-old left back Nuno Mendes up for the Kopa Trophy.

France Football delivered the Ballon d’Or casting a ballot list on Friday, August 12, which will decide the best European footballer to keep going on October 17, a month before the FIFA World Cup. A 30-part list that includes the top stars in the world was without Lionel Messi for the first time since 2005 after the Argentine had a forgettable first season with Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi, the world’s most generously compensated footballer, had to create some distance from FC Barcelona over monetary difficulties after the 2020/21 season and found a spot in PSG. They were looking to form one of the most star-studded attacking trios of all time. However, Messi neglected to change and delivered his most disappointing season since blasting onto the scene.

Then again, Messi’s nearby opponent, Cristiano Ronaldo, stayed in the main 30, after scoring the largest number of Premier League objectives for Manchester United last season.
The Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo period has probably concluded with Kari Benzema and Thibaut Courtois top picks to lift the trophy after their excellent season, where they won the LaLiga, the UEFA Champions League as well as the UEFA Super Cup.

If Cristiano Ronaldo does not win the Ballon d’Or this season, it will only be the second time since 2008 that either Lionel Messi or Ronaldo would not be lifting the trophy.

Ballon d'Or | Messi in Context

Paolo Maldini, Zinedine Zidane and Pavel Nedved. Hearing those names likely takes you back a fair way in time.

They were shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or in 2005 – the last time Lionel Messi’s name was absent from the selections, before 2022 that is.

We ought to likewise not fail to remember that the 2005 honour was perceiving the outcome of the past season – in which Messi made his senior presentation.

The Argentine’s exclusion from the current year’s award finishes off a long-term period where he was a pillar in the running for perhaps of football’s greatest individual awards – winning it a record multiple times.
It positively feels like the conclusion of an important time period.