The 30-man shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or has been released on Friday. And the Argentina international Lionel Messi who, has won the most Ballons d’Or in history with seven, did not make the list despite scoring 11 goals in 34 matches for Paris Saint-Germain last season.
His teammates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are also absent on the list.
However, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is on the list after scoring 18 goals in 31 matches for Manchester United last season.
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The favourite for the 2022 Ballon d’Or, Karim Benzema’s 44 goals powered Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid side to La Liga and Champions League triumph last season.
Following Real Madrid’s Super Cup win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday night, Benzema suggested he was able to take his game to another level after Cristiano Ronaldo left the Liga club.
Thibaut Courtois, who is named on the Yachine Trophy shortlist awarded to the best goalkeeper, Champions League final match-winner Vinicius Junior, Luka Modric and Casemiro are also listed in the top 30 for the main prize. New signing Antonio Rudiger, who had an impressive season for Chelsea last season, is on the list.
Last season’s Premier League joint top goalscorer Mohamed Salah is included, after also providing the most assists last season, despite Liverpool falling just short of the title. He is joined by teammates Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luis Diaz, Fabinho and Darwin Nunez. Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son are Tottenham’s representatives.
AC Milan’s Rafael Leao and goalkeeper Mike Maignan are on the list after winning the Serie A title last season.
Christopher Nkunku – Bundesliga Player of the Season for 2021/22 – and Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich all make the cut alongside former Liverpool forward Sadio Mane.
Robert Lewandowski – now a Barcelona player – is once again nominated after scoring more goals than he had appearances in both the Bundesliga and Champions League for Bayern Munich last season; 48 goals in 44 matches. Borussia Dortmund striker Sebastien Haller is on the list after a productive season at Ajax in 2021-22.
Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva – who could be set to leave the Premier League champions – has been acknowledged as has Phil Foden, Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo and new signing Erling Haaland.
Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic has made the shortlist after spending half his season at Fiorentina before moving to the Turin club in January.
30 nominees for men’s award
Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Junior, Casemiro, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid), Rafael Leao, Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luis Diaz, Fabinho, Darwin Nunez, Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Joshua Kimmich, Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich), Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, Joao Cancelo, Erling Haaland (Manchester City), Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona), Son Heung-min, Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Sebastien Haller (Borussia Dortmund), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Alexandra Popp, Lena Oberdorf (Wolfsburg), Aitana Bonmati, Asisat Oshoala, Fridolina Rolfo, Lucy Bronze, Alexia Putellas (Barcelona), Wendie Renard, Ada Hegerberg, Selma Bacha, Catarina Macario, Christiane Endler (Olympique Lyon), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave), Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-Germain), Millie Bright, Sam Kerr (Chelsea), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit)
“Trophee Yachine” (Best Goalkeeper)
Yassine Bounou (Sevilla), Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Ederson (Manchester City), Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)
“Trophee Kopa” (Best youngster)
Karim Adeyemi, Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Gavi (Barcelona), Ryan Gravenberch, Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint-Germain), Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)