- Ballon D’Or organizers say the new criteria was unfavourable for Lionel Messi
- For the first time since 2005, Messi was absent from the final 30-man shortlist of the prestigious awards
- Neymar, Messi’s teammate at PSG, is another big name to also miss out on 2022 shortlist
A journalist from France Football has tried to break down the logic used to snub Lionel Messi from the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist in 2022.
The list of nominees was released on Friday, August 12 and Messi, against the odds, was absent alongside his teammate Neymar.
In truth, the Argentine maestro had a fairly underwhelming campaign in his first season in the Ligue 1, notching only 11 goals, his worst run since 2005.
It however still came as a surprise that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner did not make the lost, but France Football, through a Q and A session on L'Equipe's website, attempted to make sense of it all.
Emmanuel Bojan, a journalist from the magazine, explained:
'Inevitably, Lionel Messi, with his 15 appearances in a row since 2006, his seven Ballon d'Or victories, his title holder status, weighs very heavily when it comes to the final choice.”
Exciting feature: Check out news exactly for YOU ➡️ find "Recommended for you" block and enjoy!
'The Argentinian was part of the discussions to integrate the 30, but the new criteria for the Ballon d'Or were unfavorable to him: disappearance of the criterion of a player's entire career, and new periodicity, modeled 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.
'And then, it must be admitted that his first season in Paris was very disappointing both in terms of the visual impression and the statistics.'
Why Ronaldo and not Messi
Bojan also brought to light what made Cristiano Ronaldo make the list for the 19th time in his career.
He said Ronaldo’s achievement of becoming the highest scoring player in international football, as well as his goals for Manchester United in the Champions League group stage made him a heavy favourite to make the shortlist.
“In the Premier League, he has 18 goals including two hat-tricks. In total, 32 goals in 49 matches is not as many as in his best seasons but enough to be among the 30 best players in the world.” Bojan added.
Source: Sports Brief News