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.
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.”
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.
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!
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.
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!