JACK GUEZ / AFP
Lionel Messi, here during the Champions Trophy disputed with PSG against Nantes, at the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 31, 2022.
FOOTBALL – A page turns. Argentinian Lionel Messi, seven-time winner and crowned last year, is not part of the list of 30 nominated for the Ballon d’Or 2022 unveiled this Friday, August 12.
His Brazilian PSG teammate, Neymar, is also absent, unlike the big favorite, the Frenchman Karim Benzema (Real Madrid). The Ballon d’Or 2022, awarded by the magazine France Soccerwill be delivered on October 17.
The non-nomination of Messi is quite an event, the Argentinian having been present among the contenders for the Ballon d’Or since 2006 and on the podium almost continuously since 2007, except in 2018.
But “La Pulga” (35), like Neymar, is coming out of a very complicated first season with PSG, with whom he only scored 11 goals in all competitions, failing in the knockout stages of the Champions League against Real Madrid.
The five-time Portuguese winner Cristiano Ronaldo, whose return to Manchester United last summer was also not a great success, is however named.
His ex-Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema, who is a huge favorite to succeed Messi on the list, is also well and truly present.
Change of format this year
The Frenchman was the main architect of Real’s 14th coronation in C1, finishing as the competition’s top scorer (15). In 2021-2022, Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 appearances for the Madrid club, also winning the Spanish Championship.
By doubling the bet against Frankfurt (2-0) on Wednesday in the European Supercup, the ex-Lyonnais (34) also became the 2nd best artificer in the history of Real with 324 achievements, ahead of Madrid legend Raul.
To his club exploits, Benzema also added the Nations League last season, his first trophy with the France team.
The Blues have a total of four candidates in the list for the Ballon d’Or (Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappé, Mike Maignan, Christopher Nkunku) and two for the Yachine award for best goalkeeper (Hugo Lloris, Mike Maignan).
Congratulations to our 4 Blues nominated for the Ballon d’Or! ✨ #FiersdetreBleus #ballondor https://t.co/xbKwPQI8Ju
— French team ⭐⭐ (@equipedefrance)
Twenty nominees are also in the running for the Women’s Ballon d’Or. We find the defending champion Alexia Putellas and the Norwegian from Lyon Ada Hegerberg, first winner in 2018.
The Ballon d’Or is changing format this year since it will now relate to performances achieved during the sports season and not the calendar year.
See also on The HuffPost : Lionel Messi becomes an actor for the Argentinian series “Los Protectores”