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Organizers explain why Messi was excluded in this year’s Ballon d’Or nominees

Lionel Messi
  • France Football magazine revealed the 30 nominees for this year’s Ballon d’Or award on Friday. Lionel Messi was not included in the list. 
  • Football fans were shocked at the Argentine not being on the 30-man shortlist. The organisers have explained why Messi was not included in the list. 

Ballon d’Or is the most prestigious individual award a footballer can win. Every footballer’s dream is to win the award presented by France Football magazine annually. 

The organisers revealed the list for this year’s Ballon d’Or nominees on Friday. The 30-man shortlist has become a topic of discussion among football fans because Lionel Messi was omitted.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is one of the big names to miss out on the 30-man list of Ballon d’Or nominees. Photo/ FotMob.

The Argentine international has always been on the shortlist since 2006. Since 2007, Lionel Messi has consistently featured in the top three, except for 2018. 

Lionel Messi, who switched from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last summer, struggled in his debut season with the Parisians. Messi was unable to show his genius at PSG last season. The playmaker scored 11 goals for PSG the whole of last season. 

Lionel Messi could not stand out as Paris Saint-Germain were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 by Real Madrid. Messi’s first season with the French champions failed to impress the Ballon d’Or organisers. 

During a Q&A session on L’Equipe’s website, France Football magazine journalist Emmanuel Bojan clarified why Lionel Messi was not nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or. 

According to the journalist, Lionel Messi’s seven Ballon d’Or victories weigh heavily regarding the final choice. Messi was part of the discussion to integrate the 30 nominees. However, the new criteria for the Ballon d’Or were unfavourable to him. 

Emmanuel Bojan explained further that Messi’s first season with PSG was disappointing in terms of the statistics and visual impression. 

“Inevitably, Lionel Messi, with his 15 appearances in a row since 2006, his seven Ballon d’Or victories, and his title holder status, weighs very heavily when it comes to the final choice. 

The Argentine was part of the discussion to integrate the 30, but the new criteria for the Ballon d’Or were unfavourable to him: the disappearance of the criterion of a player’s entire career, and new periodicity, modelled on a season of football and no longer over a calendar a year, which does not make it possible to integrate the Copa America of July 11, 2021.”

Neymar is another top star who didn’t make it to the top 30 nominees. The Brazilian international scored 13 goals in 28 matches for Paris Saint-Germain last season. 

Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo made it to the shortlist. Ronaldo became the top scorer in national football this year, scoring 117 goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 32 goals in 49 matches for Manchester United last season. He scored 18 Premier League goals, including two hat-tricks.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring for Manchester United last season. Photo/ The Peoples Person.

The Portuguese international played a crucial role for the Red Devils as they reached the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League last season. 

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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