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Ballon d’Or: Messi not nominated for the first time since 2005

Lionel Messi is not on the 30-player shortlist for the Ballon d’Or award for the first time since 2005. The nominees, however, include two DFB internationals.

After 17 years, Messi’s name is once again missing from the list of nominees for the Golden Ball award. The Argentine, who has since signed for PSG but endured a complicated first year there, has received the award seven times – most recently in 2021, which caused a stir at the time as Messi outstripped then Bayern goal-scorer Robert Lewandowski. The 35-year-old is thus the sole record holder, but will not be able to add another golden ball to his collection of titles and trophies for the time being.

It’s like a summer without the Tour de France,” commented France’s L’Equipe on Messi’s absence from the shortlist, which now includes his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo. Two German internationals, Joshua Kimmich and Antonio Rüdiger, are also listed. Also included: Christopher Nkunku, Sadio Mané and the exiled Bundesliga goalscorers Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski.

The favourite in the poll conducted by the French newspaper France Football is Karim Benzema, who won the Champions League with Real Madrid. The Frenchman was also top scorer in the premier league with 15 goals.

The modalities for the election have changed slightly this year. Instead of evaluating the footballers’ performance per calendar year, as was previously the case, the season’s performance, in this case for the 2021/22 season, will be taken into account in future. In future, only representatives of the top 100 in the FIFA rankings will be eligible to vote. In addition, the overall career is no longer to be a criterion.

Overview of all 30 nominees

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool FC)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)
Casemiro (Real Madrid)
Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Luis Diaz (FC Porto/FC Liverpool)
Fabinho (Liverpool FC)
Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund/Manchester City)
Sebastien Haller (Ajax/Borussia Dortmund)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
Rafael Leao (AC Milan)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/FC Barcelona)
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
Mike Maignan (AC Milan)
Sadio Mané (Liverpool FC/Bayern Munich)
Kylian Mbappé (PSG)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)
Darwin Nunez (Benfica/ Liverpool FC)
Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea FC/Real Madrid)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool FC)
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Heung-min Son (Tottenham)
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool FC)
Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina/Juventus)

In the goalkeeper vote, national keeper Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Europa League winner Kevin Trapp are among the nominees. A total of ten candidates are hoping to win the Yashin Trophy.

All 10 nominees at a glance

Yassine Bounou (Sevilla FC)
Alisson Becker (Liverpool FC)
Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
Ederson (Manchester City)
Mike Maignan (AC Milan)
Edouard Mendy (Chelsea FC)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Jan Oblak (Atletico)
Kevin Trapp (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

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