Messi ruled out for Ballon d’Or

Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has been dropped from the list of 30 nominees for the award for the first time since 2005.

The Argentinian great beat Polish striker Robert Lewandowski at last year’s Ballon d’Or, but was not nominated this time after his underwhelming first season at Paris Saint-Germain.

The 35-year-old forward won another award in 2019. Not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This time Neymar also missed the cut.

Along with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Kevin De Bruyne, Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Erling Haaland and a five-time winner. Cristiano Ronaldo was all included.

Alexia Puteras, Ada Hegerberg, Sam Kerr and Vivian Miedema were on the list of twenty female nominees. US players Alex Morgan, Catalina Macario and Trinity Rodman were also named.

The men’s list includes six Manchester City players in Phil Foden, Joao Cancelo, De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and new signing Haaland.

Liverpool also have six candidates: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luis Diaz, Fabinho, Darwin Nunez, Salah and Virgil van Dijk.

They include Mane, who helped Senegal win its first African Cup before moving to Bayern Munich from Liverpool, and Bayern team-mate Joshua Kimmich.

Benzema leads a group of six Real Madrid players. Others include Casemiro, Thibaut Courtois, Luka Modric, Vinicius Junior and new signing Antonio Rudiger.

Other nominated players are Sebastian Haller (Ajax), Rafael Leo and Mike Mainan (both AC Milan), Christopher Nukunku (RB Leipzig) and Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus).

Awards will be presented on October 17th.

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