He has seven gold copies in his cupboard, but an eighth will not be added for the time being. For the first time since 2005, Lionel Messi is not included in the long list of candidates for the Ballon d’Or. Winning the Ballon d’Or for the eighth time is going to be harder and harder, but don’t let that slip away for the next edition.

It feels a little strange. Lionel Messi is not among the possible Ballon d’Or names. Yes, because it hasn’t happened since 2005.

Messi was 19 at the time. It was the year defender Fabio Cannavaro won football’s most prestigious individual trophy. Messi finished tied for 20th that year.

The Argentinian had to wait another three years before presenting the Ballon d’Or for the first time in 2009. It was the beginning of a kingdom. He has won four times in a row and is still the record holder for seven.

But all kingdoms eventually come to an end. Last year, when rumors spread that Lionel Messi, and not Robert Lewandowski, would win the Ballon d’Or, it looked like it was about to happen.

Of course, the fact that Messi isn’t even nominated right now is in another order. Messi has not lived up to the standards he set for himself in his first season at PSG (beginning this year the Ballon d’Or is awarded on a season basis rather than a calendar year basis).

Teammates are much better in that area. Kylian Mbappe is nominated. Of course, it is a matter of course. No player has been involved in more goals than his Mbappe in the 2021-2022 season in major European competition (he has 39 goals and 21 assists in 46 appearances).

Messi has 11 goals and 15 assists in 34 games. But Mbappe is also not the frontrunner for the Ballon d’Or. His appearance in Ligue 1 and the Champions’ early exit from the league are involved in this. Neymar is also not nominated this year.

Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne and Robert Lewandowski are likely to be the frontrunners.

Has the story of Messi and the Golden Ball been written? Messi needs to perform better in his second season in Paris, but he has an advantage. In the current season, he has two accomplishments that could give his chances a big boost. It is to bring PSG his first Champions League and/or lead Argentina to a world title.

Ronaldo nominated for 18th time

Cristiano Ronaldo is a candidate for the Ballon d’Or. And it’s already the 18th time (!!!). He was the first Portuguese name to be nominated in 2004.

He has been there every year since (the Ballon d’Or was not awarded in 2020).

Ronaldo has scored 24 goals and 3 assists in 38 appearances in the 2021-2022 season.

Source: Sporza

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