Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) players, Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr, have been left out of the 30-man shortlist of 2022 Ballon d’Or.
This is the first time in a decade that the Argentine international, Messi, was not included after winning his 7th Ballon d’Or award last year– the most in history.
Despite scoring 11 goals in 34 matches for Paris Saint-Germain last season, he wasn’t included in the list.
Messi, who won the title last year, had been an ever-present amongst the nominations since 2006 and a regular feature in the top three since 2007 with the exception of 2018.
But Messi, 35, has missed out on the 2022 award following his switch from Barcelona to the French capital.
His team-mate Neymar is also not on the list. He played just 28 times for PSG last season in an injury-hit campaign.
Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema made the list.
A change in the format has worked against the Argentine and Brazilian superstar with the Ballon d’Or no longer acknowledging the best player over a calendar year.
Instead, it is based on a season’s record highlighting “the individual performances” and the “decisive and impressive character” of the nominees, according to the criteria.
2022 BALLON D’OR NOMINEES
Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
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)
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.