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Messi was left out on initial list of Ballon D'or nominations while Cristiano Ronaldo was included.

Official announcement of the 2022 Ballon d'Or nominees

Karim Benzema and Sadio Mane were among the players named as 2022 Ballon d'Or nominees by France Football, but Lionel Messi was left off the list.

Due to the event's new format, the awards ceremony will now take place earlier than normal on October 17 at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.

View a few of the Golden Ball favourites from this year by scrolling through the gallery above.

The award was last won by Messi in 2021, for a record seventh time. This time around, the nominations take into account players' performances over a season rather than the previous system, which took exploits over a calendar year into account.

In the 2021/22 season, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema won the UEFA Champions League trophy and the LaLiga championship, making him one of the favourites to win the Golden Ball.

The Frenchman was also a member of the France team that captured its first UEFA Nations League championship and also took home the Golden Boot for both of the aforementioned competitions.

Sadio Mane of Bayern Munich, who won the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal in addition to the two medals he won with his former team Liverpool last season, is another candidate for the prestigious award this year.

At Afcon 2021, the star player for the Lions of Teranga also won Player of the Tournament.

before leading his country to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in March.

More recently, the 30-year-old defeated fellow countryman Edouard Mendy and former Anfield attack partner Mohamed Salah to win the prestigious CAF African Men's Player of the Year accolade.

Robert Lewandowski, who recently joined FC Barcelona, is also vying for the award after scoring 50 goals in 46 games for Bayern previous season.

In addition, he won the German Super Cup and the Bundesliga's Golden Boot for the eighth consecutive season. Later this year, he will represent his native Poland in Qatar after helping the nation qualify.

The nominees also include prominent players like Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germaine, Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, and Thibaut Courtois of Real Madrid, although record champion Lionel Messi is not one of them due to his disappointing debut season with Les Parisiens. The complete list of nominees is provided below.

The Yashin Trophy for the best goalie and the Kopa Trophy for the outstanding player under the age of 21 will also be awarded at the ceremony in October. Gianluigi Donnarumma, a goalkeeper for Paris Saint-Germain, and Pedri, a teenager for FC Barcelona, were the winners of the accolades the previous year.

Here are all of the 2022 Ballon d'Or nominees:

Belgian/Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois

Portugal and AC Milan's Rafael Leao

France-based RB Leipzig player Christopher Nkunku

Senegal and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah

Joshua Kimmich, Germany's Bayern Munich

England's Trent Alexander-Arnold, of Liverpool

Vinicius Junior, of Brazil and Real Madrid

Portugal and Manchester City's Bernardo Silva

Colombia, Porto, and Luis Diaz

Robert Lewandowski, Poland/Barcelona, Bayern Munich

Riyad Mahrez, Algeria and Manchester City

Real Madrid/Casemiro Brazil's

Hueng-Min Son, South Korean and Tottenham Hotspur

Brazil and Liverpool's Fabinho

France's and Real Madrid's Karim Benzema

Mike Maignan, France/AC Milan

England's and Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane

Darwin Nunez plays for Benfica and is from Uruguay.

England's and Manchester City's Phil Foden

Ajax, Borussia Dortmund, and Ivory Coast's Sebastien Haller

Real Madrid's and Croatia's Luka Modric

German, Chelsea, and Real Madrid player Antonio Rudiger

Portugal and Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo

Belgium and Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne

Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and Senegal's Sadio Mane

Dusan Vlahovic, Serbia/Juventus

Virgil van Dijk is a Liverpool and Dutch player.

Portugal and Manchester City's Joao Cancelo

Kylian Mbappe, France/Paris Saint-Germain

Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City, and Norway's Erling Haaland

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OFFICIAL: 2022 Ballon d'Or nominees revealed

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Ballon D'or Ballon d'Or Karim Benzema Lionel Messi Messi


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