2022 marks the end of an era as, for the first time since 2006 (h/t B/R Football), the Ballon d’Or will not have either Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi or Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo on the podium.
Messi did not enter even among the 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or to take the most precious individual award, while Ronaldo has been in twentieth place.
Between the two, the Argentine has won the award on seven occasions; meanwhile to Portuguese have secured the honor five times. Nonetheless, both players are in their mid to late 30s, and it’s the new reality for football fans.
Messi won the Ballon d’Or last year, but it is not the first time he has been left off the podium in the last 15 editions. In 2018, the award went to Luka Modric, who beat out Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann. The former FC Barcelona player was in fifth place.
The biggest surprise for the 2022 edition of the award was that Messi was left out of the 30 nominees. His poor season in his first year at PSG, where he only scored six goals in Ligue 1 and was eliminated in the Champions League round of 16, kept him off the list.