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The 2022 Ballon d’Or Nominee Controversies People Can’t Stop Talking About

The 2022 Ballon d’Or Nominee Controversies People Can’t Stop Talking About

The 2022 Ballon d’Or nominations are out! France Football revealed the shortlist of 30 players who are in the running to win the prestigious award.

Ironically, it’s not the players who are on the list – but the ones who have been omitted that have started trending the most on social media.

Lionel Messi

By far, THE biggest name to be snubbed from the Ballon d’Or list is Lionel Messi. The player who won the award last year is not even in the reckoning! This is actually historic stuff and never really happened ever, which has left fans even more bewildered.

When asked to explain his omission, France Football (the organizers) representative Emmanuel Bojan said: “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 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.”


Alisson had a brilliant season with Liverpool in the 2021/22 campaign. He only conceded 41 goals in 53 appearances, keeping 27 clean sheets across all competitions.

Not just that, but the Brazilian was influential in helping Liverpool win the FA Cup and Carabao Cup titles thanks to his heroics in the penalty shootout in both the finals.

Despite arguably being the second-best goalkeeper (behind Thibaut Courtois), Alisson hasn’t been nominated. Instead, AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan (also French) is included in the top-30 shortlist, despite having 8 fewer clean sheets than him.

Darwin Nunez

But Liverpool did see their new boy Darwin Nunez among the nominees. Granted, he scored 34 goals for Benfica last season, but 26 of those were in the Liga Portugal.

Fans are stunned how Nunez managed to get in ahead of someone like Messi in this one, with many believing Leo’s overall performances for club and country trump the Uruguayan. Perhaps the nomination is to make more people from Uruguay pay attention to Ballon d’Or!

Thomas Muller

Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller was one of the most creative players in Europe last season. He recorded 18 assists in all competitions, more than any other player.

Despite having 31 goal contributions in total, the German international somehow didn’t get inclusion – leaving him to be termed as the ‘biggest snub’ of Ballon d’Or nominees.


Another surprise exclusion in the top-30 shortlists was Manchester City midfielder Rodri.

One fan made an apt example of why Rodri deserved to be included ahead of Fabinho with a screenshot of the Spaniard’s amazing goal-saving tackle to deny the Brazilian midfielder from scoring in their 2-2 draw at Anfield last season.

Moments like that helped City pip Liverpool to the title. Looks like France Football might be slightly Liverpool-biased!