Lionel Messi is among most Ballon d’Or nominees despite missing out for the first time since 2005 after the contenders were announced by France Football.
The 35-year-old Argentina captain struggled to hit form in his first season in Paris Saint-Germain after ending his 20-year association with Barcelona.
Messi manages to score just 11 goals from 34 appearances for the French capital club which is his worst return since the 2005-2006 campaign.
Barcelona’s all-time goalscorer was unable to secure his 16th nomination after an underwhelming 2021-22 campaign at Paris Saint-Germain despite winning Ligue 1 and Trophée des Champions
Messi has won the most Ballon d’Or trophies ever with seven but his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar was also omitted from the shortlist.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema leads the nominees as he bids to win the first Ballon d’Or award of his career, while Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo gets his 20 Ballon d’Or nominations.
New Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland were also included in the 30-man list of this year’s nominees.
The 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony will be held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday, October 17.
Due to the World Cup taking place in Qatar the following month, the glitzy affair has been moved forward to avoid a clash.