A high price to leave Barcelona? Lionel Messi misses out on Ballon d’Or nomination

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Lionel Messi has paid a high price for an unsatisfactory first season with Paris Saint-Germain. The shortlist of 30 people for this year’s Ballon d’Or did not include the footballer who has won the coveted award seven times.

According to AFP, Messi, who won the award last year, had been a consistent nominee since 2006 and with the exception of 2018, a consistent inclusion in the top three since 2007.

He won’t receive the award in 2022 due to his move from Barcelona to the French capital and a change in the format of the award.

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The Ballon d’Or no longer honors the best player in a calendar year, which worked against the Argentine superstar. It is now determined on a season’s performance, emphasizing “individual performances” and the “decisive and impressive character” of the nominees.

After leaving Barcelona in the summer of 2021, Messi was unable to impress his brilliance on a PSG side desperate for a Champions League win. He has scored just 11 goals for PSG in total, and the judges for the Ballon d’Or, which will be presented in Paris on October 17, were unimpressed with his lackluster play at club level.

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The rest of the nominations are not particularly surprising.

Karim Benzema, the French international striker who helped Real Madrid win their 14th Champions League title, is the big favourite. He is joined on the 30-man roster by teammates Thibaut Courtois, Casemiro, 2018 winner Luka Modric, Vinicius and former Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger.

Ronaldo, five times Ballon d’Or for Manchester United, is nominated again this year.

Liverpool have the most nominees of any club with seven players: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luis Diaz, Fabinho, Sadio Mane, who has since joined Bayern Munich, Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dijk.

(With agency contributions)

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