Some of the biggest names in the world of football won't be a part of the Ballon d'Or race this year. The Ballon d'Or is the biggest individual prize in football. Only some of the greatest to have pulled on a pair of cleats have been able to wrap their hands around the prestigious trophy.
2022 Ballon d'Or race is the most exciting in years
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have exercised a duopoly of sorts over the Ballon d'Or in recent times. The pair have won 12 of the last 13 editions of the award. But will they be part of the race for the 2022 Ballon d'Or as well?
This year, there are plenty of top contenders in the Ballon d'Or race and it's hard to predict which way this one is going to go.
Without further ado, let's take a look at five superstars who have no chance of winning the Ballon d'Or this year.
#5 Pedri (Spain/Barcelona)
Pedri was voted the 'Best Young Player of the Tournament' at Euro 2020 for his exploits with the Spanish national team. He was also named in the 'Team of the Tournament'. Pedri was just 18 years old at the time and has been incredibly impressive in his short yet spectacular professional career thus far.
However, Barcelona have had a rather poor season by their own standards. The Catalans have gone trophyless this term and Pedri's involvement was limited due to niggling injury issues.
He made just a total of 22 appearances across all competitions for Barcelona this season. This is in stark contrast to the 52 appearances he made across all competitions for the Catalans in the 2020-21 campaign.
Pedri has scored five goals and provided one assist from central midfield for his club this term.
#4 Erling Haaland (Norway/Borussia Dortmund)
According to the reliable Fabrizio Romano, Erling Haaland to Manchester City is a done deal. Manchester City are already one of the best teams in the world and now that the Norwegian marksman is joining them, they will become even more intimidating.
But Haaland has had a rather forgettable season this time around. He has not featured extensively for the Borussia Dortmund this term due to multiple injury issues. With Norway failing to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we won't unfortunately be seeing Haaland at the grandest stage of them all.
In 29 appearances across all competitions for Borussia Dortmund this season, Haaland has scored 28 goals and provided eight assists.
#3 Neymar Jr. (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain)
Neymar Jr. is yet another high-profile star who we have seen very little of over the course of the 2021-22 season. The Brazil international also struggled with multiple injury issues and was kept out of action for the majority of the season.
He has played some very good football since making his return in February. However, he has only won the Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain this season. That is unlikely to give him much of a boost in the race for the Ballon d'Or this year especially because there have been many great performers elsewhere in Europe.
Neymar has scored 12 goals and provided eight assists in 27 appearances across all competitions for PSG so far this season.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Manchester United)
Cristiano Ronaldo played a major role in helping Portugal qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Unfortunately for him, he has endured an utterly forgettable season at Manchester United. The Red Devils have never looked worse than this in the Premier League era and even Ronaldo's heroics could only do so much for them.
The 37-year-old is still going strong and is third on the list of Premier League goalscorers this term, with 18 goals in 30 appearances. In total, he has netted 24 times and provided three assists in 38 appearances across all competitions for the Red Devils.
However, the complete absence of silverware will be a massive blow to his Ballon d'Or aspirations. Ronaldo has little to no chance of winning the prestigious award this season.
#1 Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi has had quite a strange season at PSG since joining the club last summer. He has been one of the most prolific goalscorers on the planet in the last decade and a half. However, the Argentina international has struggled to find the back of the net on a consistent basis this season.
Messi has had a very ordinary season by his own lofty standards. He has scored just nine goals and provided 13 assists in 32 appearances across all competitions so far this term. At an individual level, this is arguably the worst season of Messi's career so far.
He has won the Ligue 1 title but the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner does not stand a chance of winning the award again this year.