Lionel Messi is not nominated for the Ballon d’Or for the first time since 2005, while Neymar Jr. is also absent


The Ballon d’Or nominees were announced on Friday and two of football’s biggest names didn’t make it. Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. were not among the 30 nominees for the award.

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For Messi, it’s the first time since 2005 that he hasn’t been nominated for the award.

Messi won the Ballon d’Or the last two times it was awarded – in 2021 and 2019. The award was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Messi also won the award in 2015, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009. His seven Ballon d’Or wins are the most of any player. He also came second or third in the voting six times.

Neymar didn’t make the cut either. He has yet to win the award, but has finished third in voting twice – in 2015 and 2017.

Both Messi and Neymar spent the 2021-2022 season at Paris Saint-Germain. The team went 26-8-4 and finished first in Ligue 1. Messi scored six goals after scoring 30 with Barcelona in the 2020-2021 season. Neymar scored 13 goals and had 6 assists in 22 games with Paris Saint-Germain.

Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. have not been nominated for the Ballon d’Or. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

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