The Ballon d’Or committee has acknowledged that, unlike Cristiano Ronaldo, the current winner Lionel Messi’s first season with Paris Saint-Germain was not good enough to get him on the shortlist for the 2022 award.
Messi’s disappointing first season in Paris ended with him failing to make the final 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or for the first time in 17 years. He finished the season with 11 goals and 15 assists in 34 games, a dismal total by Messi’s high standards.
Fans were outraged by the decision to leave Messi off the shortlist, and France Football, the organisation behind the award, quickly put together a Q&A session to try to put their minds at ease.
“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 organisers said.
“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.”
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