Lionel Messi and Neymar snubbed by Ballon d’Or; Liverpool and Man City dominate shortlist

Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi and PSG teammate Neymar Jr have not been included on the 30-man shortlist for this year’s award.

This is the first time since 2005 that Messi has missed out on the shortlist, despite scoring 11 goals in 34 games for PSG last season and helping Argentina to Finalissima glory.

Neymar is the other high-profile absentee after enduring an injury hit campaign which saw him make just 28 appearances for the Parisians.

The list is dominated by Premier League talent, with Liverpool boasting seven players alone.

English champions Manchester City have six players nominated, while the only player from across the city to make the shortlist is Cristiano Ronaldo.

Despite this, it's Karim Benzema who remains the favourite to lift the prize after scoring 44 goals last season and helping Los Blancos to the La Liga and Champions League honours.

New Barcelona forward Robert Lewandowski also features, having scored 48 goals in 44 matches.

The Pole missed out on the prize during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many believing he was wrongfully denied the honour.

2022 Ballon d'Or shortlist

Thibaut Courtois - Real Madrid

Vinicius Junior - Real Madrid

Casemiro - Real Madrid

Karim Benzema - Real Madrid

Luka Modric - Real Madrid

Antonio Rudiger - Chelsea/Real Madrid

Rafael Leao - AC Milan

Mike Maignan - AC Milan

Christopher Nkunku - RB Leipzig

Mohamed Salah - Liverpool

Luis Diaz - Porto/Liverpool

Trent Alexander-Arnold - Liverpool

Fabinho - Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk - Liverpool

Darwin Nunez - Benfica/Liverpool

Sadio Mane - Liverpool/Bayern Munich

Joshua Kimmich - Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski - Bayern Munich/Barcelona

Bernardo Silva - Manchester City

Riyad Mahrez - Manchester City

Phil Foden - Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne - Manchester City

Joao Cancelo - Manchester City

Erling Haaland - Borussia Dortmund/Manchester City

Son Heung-min - Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane - Tottenham Hotspur

Sebastien Haller - Ajax/Borussia Dortmund

Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United

Dusan Vlahovic - Fiorentina/Juventus

Kylian Mbappe - Paris Saint-Germain

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