The latest list of Ballon d’Or list was out and it had the biggest surprise of the last year and a half as Lionel Messi was not a part of the nominations. Another million-dollar surprise was missing out on Neymar, the star Brazilian whose exploits were not really something to talk about.
France football has announced the nominees for the biggest individual award show in the sport and Real Madrid striker, Karim Benzema led the way while former Bayern Munich striker, Robert Lewandowski was also in the hunt.
Karim Benzema leads the race for the award show after firing Real Madrid to the Champions League glory and La Liga almost single-handedly. He was the face of the Real Madrid revolution after a season where several stars failed to lift Los Blancos to their former pedestal.
Messi who bagged the last year’s Ballon d’Or mysteriously was not even a part of the final list and the fans were absolutely not happy about the development. They had to say that this was a probable mix-up about the Argentine striker being written off because there were bigger forces at work.
Here is why Lionel Messi was not a part of the final 30 in the race to the Ballon d’Or
In fact, France’s deputy chief cleared the around Messi’s exclusion, quoting, “The Argentinian was part of the discussions to integrate the 30, but the new criteria for the Ballon d’Or were unfavorable to him: the disappearance of the criterion of a player’s entire career, and new periodicity, modeled on a season of football and no longer over a calendar year, which does not make it possible to integrate the Copa America of July 11, 2021. And then, it must be admitted that his first season in Paris was very disappointing both in terms of the visual impression and the statistics.”
The grand award show is all scheduled to be in October and will be playing host to the biggest stars of the sport coming together under the same sky. Accept it or not, Benzema has almost bagged the silverware with no individual footballer close enough to derail his campaign. Here is the list of the final 30 nominations.
Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
Rafael Leao (AC Milan)
Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus)
Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)
Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Casemiro (Real Madrid)
Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Darwin Nunez (Liverpool)
Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich)
Sebastian Haller (Borussia Dortmund)
Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Luis Diaz (Liverpool)
Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)