The shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or has been released by France Football, with a notable absence of Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi. Messi won the men’s award in 2021, but is already out of the running this time around.
The Argentine maestro struggled for form in his first season in the French capital and despite winning the accolade a record seven times, is not in contention for this year’s crown.
The 2022 Ballon d’Or ceremony will be held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday, October 17. The ceremony has been moved forward due to the World Cup talking place on Qatar the following month.
This year’s edition will have its vote based on the performances during the past season, rather than during the calendar year.
A player’s achievements from August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022 will be the basis of the award.
Selected journalist’s from FIFA’s top 100 nations are eligible to vote players from the shortlist of 30 men and 20 women. Whichever player receives the most points will be awarded the prize.
If two players are tied on the same points, the number of first-place votes will determine the overall winner.
While Lionel Messi won the men’s award in 2021, Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas picked up the women’s award.
While Putellas is still favourite to win the women’s award for the second year running, Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema is the leading candidate for the men’s prize, after his successful campaign in 2021-2022 season.
Nigeria’s Asisat Oshola will be vying for the top price alongside her Barcelona teammate. Oshola is widely regarded as one of the greatest African female footballers of all time, and one of the best in the world.
In July, the Super Falcon Striker won the 2022 Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s Player of the Year. That 2022 CAF Player of the year made it the 5th for her, having won it in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019 respectively.
27-year old Oshola played a pivotal role in her Spanish side’s treble charge; the Spanish Women’s Super Cup, Copa de la Reina, and the Primera Division.
The shortlist for the 2022 Ballon d’Or was announced on Friday, August 12.
Here is the list of nominees in full.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (England and Liverpool)
Karim Benzema (France and Real Madrid)
Joao Cancelo (Portugal and Manchester City)
Casemiro (Brazil and Real Madrid)
Thibaut Courtois (Belgium and Real Madrid)
Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium and Manchester City)
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Manchester City)
Mike Maignan (France and AC Milan)
Sadio Mane (Senegal and Bayern Munich)
Kylian Mbappe (France and Paris Saint-Germain)
Luka Modric (Croatia and Real Madrid)
Christopher Nkunku (France and RB Leipzig)
Darwin Nunez (Uruguay and Liverpool)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal and Manchester United)
Antonio Rudiger (Germany and Real Madrid)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool)
Bernardo Silva (Portugal and Manchester City)
Heung-Min Son (South Korea and Tottenham)
Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands and Liverpool)
Vinicius Junior (Brazil and Real Madrid)
Dusan Vlahovic (Serbia and Juventus)
Selma Bacha (France and Lyon)
Aitana Bonmati (Spain and Barcelona)
Millie Bright (England and Chelsea)
Lucy Bronze (England and Barcelona)
Kadidiatou Diani (France and Paris Saint-Germain)
Christiane Endler (Chile and Lyon)
Ada Hegerberg (Norway and Lyon)
Marie-Antoinette Katoto (France and Paris Saint-Germain)
Sam Kerr (Australia and Chelsea)
Catarina Macario (USA and Lyon)
Beth Mead (England and Arsenal)
Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands and Arsenal)
Alex Morgan (USA and San Diego Wave)
Lena Oberdorf (Germany and Wolfsburg)
Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria and Barcelona)
Alexandra Popp (Germany and Wolfsburg)
Alexia Putellas (Spain and Barcelona)
Wendie Renard (France and Lyon)
Trinity Rodman (USA and Washington Spirit)
Fridolina Rolfo (Sweden and Bayern Munich)
The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by French news magazine France Football since 1956.
Between 2010 and 2015, in an agreement with FIFA, the award was temporarily merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year (founded in 1991) and known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
That partnership ended in 2016, and the award reverted to the Ballon d’Or, while FIFA also reverted to its own separate annual award The Best FIFA Men’s Player.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur