Africa-Press – Botswana. France Football released, on Friday, the list of 30 players nominated for the Ballon d’Or, award for the best player in the world in 2022. Lionel Messi, winner last season and record holder of awards, is out of those chosen for the first time time since 2005.
A discreet season in his debut for Paris Saint-Germain (11 goals and 14 assists in 34 games) ended up removing the Argentine from the nominees, as did Neymar, who was third in 2015 and 2017.
Already Cristiano Ronaldo, winner of the distinction five times, is part of the nominees for the 19th consecutive season, since 2004. The forward scored 24 goals and three assists in 38 matches for Manchester United, but did not celebrate any collective title. In 2021 he was ranked sixth, missing the podium for the first time since 2010.
Among the 30 nominees are also five European champions for Real Madrid: Casemiro, Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Thibaut Courtois and Vinícius Júnior. Robert Lewandowski, recently transferred to Barcelona, stands out on the list as the 2021/22 Golden Boot winner, with 35 goals in 34 games for Bayern Munich.
The Ballon d’Or is awarded on 17 October in Paris. Lionel Messi’s successor will be known through new evaluation methods, which will now take into account the sporting season instead of the calendar year. This paradigm also applies to the women’s award, won in 2021 by the Spanish Alexia Putellas, one of the 20 finalists announced for 2022, along with five continental champions for clubs with Lyon and three for national teams with England.
Nuno Mendes, Paris Saint-Germain side, repeats his nomination for the Kopa award, which elects the best U-21 player in the world. Ranked fourth in 2021, the former Sporting player will compete this year with Germans Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen), Jamal Musiala (Bayern) and Karim Adeyemi (Dortmund), Croatian Josko Gvardiol (Leipzig), Spaniard Gavi (Barcelona) ), the Frenchman Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), the English Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) and Jude Bellingham (Dortmund) and the Dutchman Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern).
The Lev Yashin Trophy, which has recognized the world’s best goalkeeper since 2019 and was awarded in 2021 to Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain), this time out of the 10 chosen, nevertheless registers Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid) and Ederson (Manchester City).