Ballon d’Or Organisers Explain Why Cristiano Ronaldo Was Nominated and Messi Wasn’t
For the first time in his career, Lionel Messi is out of the running for the 2022 Ballon d’Or, an award he has won seven times since 2006.
As reported by Marca, he is not among the 30 candidates that were announced by L’Equipe and France Football on Friday night, so he won’t be trying to win his eighth award at the gala on October 17.
This was a controversial choice that forced L’Equipe to offer an explanation in an article titled “Why Messi is absent while Ronaldo is present on the 2022 Ballon d’Or nominee list”.
Why was Messi Missing From the 2022 Ballon d’Or Shortlist?
The French publication’s initial justification is the modification of the Ballon d’Or criteria, pointing out that it is now based on the football season and not the calendar year and that Messi’s performances were below par.
They use the fact that it wasn’t a good first year in Paris, while also pointing to the situation with Mauricio Pochettino.
He scored just six goals in Ligue 1, while Real Madrid eliminated the team from the Champions League in the last 16.
Messi’s dreams, as well as those of many Parisians, were dashed at that point.
Why was Cristiano Ronaldo Included on the 2022 Ballon d’Or Shortlist?
After explaining Messi’s omission, L’Equipe went on to justify Cristiano Ronaldo’s inclusion on the list of the 30 candidates for the Ballon d’Or, making it 18 consecutive appearances among the contenders.
There are various explanations provided by L’Equipe. His six goals in the Champions League group stage propelled Manchester United into the round of 16, while he concluded the season with a total of 32 goals in 49 games across all competitions.
That was sufficient to keep Ronaldo in the top tier of football players, even if he isn’t a favourite to actually go on and win what would be his sixth Ballon d’Or.