| Ballon d’Or shortlist Messi, Neymar out, Ronaldo in

Paris: Ballon d’Or award shortlist without superstars Lionel Messi of Argentina and Neymar of Brazil. The organizers of France Football have released the shortlist to find the best football player of the last season. This is the first time since 2005 that Lionel Messi has not been included in the 30-man squad. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who is considered to be Messi’s rival in contemporary football, is on the list. Messi, who won the award last year, was the seventh Ballon d’Or in his career. After moving from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), it is considered that Messi was humbled by not being able to rise to the peak of excellence. Messi scored only 11 goals in 34 games for PSG last season.

At the same time, last season, Ronaldo netted 18 times in 31 games for English Premier League club Manchester United, which secured him a place on the shortlist. Ronaldo, who has won the award five times, is second only to Messi among the players who have won the title the most times.

French player Karim Benzema, who played a crucial role in lifting Real Madrid to the La Liga title, is more likely to win the award this time. 44 goals were scored from Benzema’s boot last season.

Listed players and club

Thibaut Kotwa (Real Madrid), Rafael Leo (AC Milan), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Bernardo Silva ( Manchester United), Luis Diaz (Liverpool), Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona), Riyad Mehrez (Manchester City), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Heung Min Son (Tottenham), Fabinho (Liverpool), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Mike Meignan (AC Milan), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Darwin Nunez (Liverpool), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich), Sebastian Haller (Borussia Dortmund), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Ja Vo Cancelo (Juventus), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Erling Holland (Manchester City)

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