For the first time since 2005, Messi has not been named on the 30-man list for the most prestigious individual award in world football. The Argentine holds the record for most Ballon d’Or awards in the history of the game with seven to his name.
Messi won the Ballon d’Or in 2021 but endured a difficult maiden season with PSG last time out after leaving Barcelona.
France Football’s deputy editor-in-chief Emmanuel Bojan has opened up on Lionel Messi's omission due to the new criteria for the award.
For the first time this year, the Ballon d'Or winner will be selected based on their form over the previous season, rather than the calendar year.
Although Lionel Messi was part of the PSG side that won Ligue 1, the Argentine had an underwhelming season by his usual standards.
The former Barcelona superstar scored just 11 goals and produced 15 assists in 34 games across all competitions while also missing a few games with injuries. Emmanuel Bojan said, as quoted by Eurosport:
“Inevitably, Lionel Messi, with his 15 appearances in a row since 2006, his seven Ballon d'Or victories, his title holder status, weighs very heavily when it comes to the final choice."
“The Argentinian was part of the discussions to integrate the 30, but the new criteria for the Ballon d'Or were unfavourable to him: disappearance of the criterion of a player's entire career, and new periodicity, modelled on a season of football and no longer over a calendar year, which does not make it possible to integrate the Copa America of July 11, 2021."
"And then, it must be admitted that his first season in Paris was very disappointing both in terms of the visual impression and the statistics."
PSG superstar Lionel Messi is not the only big omission from the Ballon d'Or shortlist
The 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or 2022 has plenty of surprises with not only Messi but also Neymar missing out.
Alongside the Argentine, PSG forward Neymar has also been snubbed from the list, with the Brazilian superstar also struggling for form and fitness last season.
Both Messi and Neymar have started the new season on fire though under new manager Christophe Galtier.
Messi has three goals and one assist in three games while Neymar has scored five goals and provided three assists in three games.