By Our Sports Desk
Hot favourite Karim Benzema has been nominated for the 2022 Ballon d’Or, but there is no place on the shortlist for Paris Saint-Germain duo Lionel Messi and Neymar. Messi has won the award seven times – more than any other player in history – but does not make the list for the first time since 2005. Winners of the Ballon d’Or awards are announced at a glitzy ceremony in Paris on October 17.
Lionel Messi and Neymar have not been included on the 30-man shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or.
The Argentina international has won the most Ballons d’Or in history with seven, but he did not make the list despite scoring 11 goals in 34 matches for Paris Saint-Germain last season.
His team-mate Neymar is also not on the list. He played just 28 times for PSG last season in an injury-hit campaign. Kylian Mbappe does make the list.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is on the list after scoring 18 goals in 31 matches for Manchester United last season.
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 team-mates 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.
2022 BALLON D’OR NOMINEES
- 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.