As France Football released the nominations for the Ballon d’Or 2022 award, the football world was handed a shock to find out that Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi was omitted from the list. It is the first time since 2006 when Messi has not been nominated in the list of final 30 players in the Ballon d’Or award, however, his arch-rival and Portugal ace Cristiano Ronaldo was selected.

Since Messi left FC Barcelona and joined Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, his performance has seen a downward spiral. Messi began his career in the French capital in an underwhelming manner and finished the season with only 11 goals across all competitions, his lowest since 2005-06.

However, the 35-year-old registered 15 assists, which could not help him to receive a nomination for the Ballon d’Or award this year. Let’s find out why the Argentinian mega star missed out on the nominations.

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One of the most prestigious awards in football, the Ballon d’Or is awarded by France Football, one of the most reputed magazines in the sport. The magazine released its last 30 nominations on Friday, August 12, and Messi was not a part of the list.

Many fans argued that since Messi’s move to Paris Saint-Germain, he has won two trophies — Ligue 1 and Trophee Des Champions in comparison to Ronaldo’s none. Arguments have also been made to point out Messi’s 2021 Copa America win, which also marked his first-ever International trophy with the Albiceleste. 

France Football journalist Emmanuel Bojan has come out to give an explanation to Messi’s exclusion from the final 30 list, which by the way includes Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to Bojan, it was a difficult decision to exclude Lionel Messi from the final 30 nominations. He also revealed that while Messi’s name was discussed initially, a certain new criteria to become a Ballon d’Or nominee came in the way.

“The Argentinian was part of the discussions to integrate the 30, but the new criteria for the Ballon d’Or were unfavourable to him: the disappearance of the criterion of a player’s entire career, and a new periodicity, modelled 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,” he added. 

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Bojan also pointed out that Messi had a very underwhelming debut season at PSG, which might have played a role in his exclusion from the list.

“It must be admitted that his first season in Paris was very disappointing, both in terms of the visual impression and the statistics,” he quipped.

Bojan also revealed that Ronaldo achieved several records in the last season and performed well for the Portugal national team and Manchester United, which helped him to become a nominee.