The list of nominees for the upcoming Ballon d’Or award have, on Friday, been unveiled.
The latest edition of the ‘Golden Ball’, of course, is set to be handed out in just a couple of months’ time.
Moved forward owing to the Qatar World Cup, France Football will unveil the player voted as world football’s finest for the 12 months prior on Monday, October 17th.
The current favourite to bag the accolade comes in the form of Karim Benzema, fresh off a stellar individual campaign ultimately culminating in a La Liga and Champions League double.
And joining the Frenchman on the 30-man shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or are Real Madrid teammates Thibaut Courtois, Antonio Rudiger, Casemiro, Luka Modric, and Vinicius Jr.
Too boasting six candidates for the prize are both Liverpool, and Premier League champions Manchester City.
Without question the headline talking point stemming from France Football’s list of nominees being unveiled, though, comes a shock omission.
The player not up for October’s prize? Lionel Messi.
A year on from solidifying his place as the most decorated player in the history of football’s most sought after individual accolade, 7-time winner Messi has been left off the list of nominees.
Joining the Argentine in missing out, meanwhile, is Paris Saint-Germain teammate and close friend Neymar.
5-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo, on the other hand, has been included, alongside the likes of Serie A Player of the Year Rafael Leao, big-money Barcelona addition Robert Lewandowski, and RB Leipzig talisman Christopher Nkunku.