France Football announces the 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or: Lionel Messi and Neymar were left out

Photo: LLUIS GENE / AFP / Getty Images

Considered the favorite to win the Ballon d’Or in 2022, Frenchman Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) is among the 30 nominees for the award that the magazine will award French Football next October 17. The Argentine Lionel Messi and the Brazilian Neymar Jr. (PSG) are the great absentees.

Benzema, 34 years old, could be the successor to Lionel Messi in the award, both for his individual statistics (he is already the second best scorer in the history of Real Madrid), and collective statistics (winner of the Champions League, among others). trophies).

This has been the third batch of 30 nominees released today by FranceFootball, that uses new evaluation criteria; among them, taking into account the season more than the calendar year and giving more priority to individual results before collective ones.

The candidates also include the Brazilian Vinicius Jr. (Real Madrid), the Colombian Luis Díaz (Liverpool), the Polish Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona), the Portuguese Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) and the Englishman Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool).

The Belgian Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), the Portuguese Rafael Leao (AC Milan), the German Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), the French Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), the Egyptian Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) also appear.

Other nominees are the French Kylian Mbappé (PSG), the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), the Brazilian Casemiro (Real Madrid), the also Brazilian Fabinho (Liverpool), the South Korean Heung-min Son (Tottenham) and the Algerian Riyadh Mahrez (Manchester City).

The Uruguayan striker Darwin Núñez (from Benfica to Liverpool), the Senegalese Sadio Mané (from Liverpool to Bayern Munich), the French goalkeeper Mike Maignan (AC Milan) and the English Harry Kane (Tottenham) and Phil Foden (Manchester City) also appear among the 30 contenders for the Ballon d’Or.