Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. of Paris Saint-Germain were shockingly left off the 30-player shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or award. The list of the contestants’ finalists was released on Friday by the event’s organizers, France Football. Messi won’t be selected for the first time since 2005.
The captain of Argentina began a streak of 15 consecutive nominations after winning it for the first time, the most of any player. He scored just 11 goals in all competitions during his debut season with PSG, which cost him the award.
Neymar, a teammate of Messi’s, is not included on the list, which also includes Karim Benzema, a fan favorite striker for Real Madrid. The list of nominees for this year included players like Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Asisat Oshoala, a super falcon player from Nigeria, was also nominated on Friday for the 2022 Women’s Ballon d’Or Player of the Year award. She was selected for the 20-woman shortlist thanks to her achievements with FC Barcelona femeni.
Oshoala won the African Women’s Player of the Year title for the fifth time in July, surpassing her previous record and becoming the first person to do so.