Some of the biggest names in world football will not be participating in the Ballon d’Or this year. The Ballon d’Or is the biggest individual award in football. Only some of the greatest to have ever worn a pair of cleats managed to wrap their hands around the prestigious trophy.
The 2022 Ballon d’Or is the most exciting race in years
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have exercised a duopoly of sorts over the Ballon d’Or recently. The duo has won 12 of the last 13 editions of the award. But will they be part of the 2022 Ballon d’Or, too?
This year, there are a lot of top contenders in the Ballon d’Or and it’s hard to predict which way this race will go.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at five stars who stand no chance of winning the Ballon d’Or this year.
#5 Pedri (Spain / Barcelona)
Pedri was voted ‘Young Player of the Tournament’ at Euro 2020 for his exploits with the Spain national team. He was also named to the “Team of the Tournament”. Pedri was only 18 years old at the time and was incredibly impressive in his short and amazing career thus far.
However, Barcelona’s season has been rather poor by its own standards. The Catalans did not win any awards in this term and Pedri’s participation was limited due to annoying injury problems.
He participated in only 22 games in all competitions for Barcelona this season. This is in stark contrast to the 52 matches he participated in in all competitions with the Catalan team in the 2020-21 season.
Pedri has scored five goals and provided an assist from midfield for his club this season.
#4 Erling Haaland (Norway / Borussia Dortmund)
by reliability Fabrizio RomanoErling 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 striker has joined them, they are going to be even more intimidating.
But Haaland had a forgotten season this time around. He did not participate extensively with the Bundesliga team this term due to several injuries. With Norway failing to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we unfortunately will not see Haaland on the coolest stage ever.
In 29 matches across all competitions for Borussia Dortmund this season, Haaland has scored 28 goals and provided eight assists.
#3 Neymar Jr (Brazil / PSG)
Neymar Jr is another high-profile star that we haven’t seen often over the course of the 2021-22 season. The Brazil international also struggled with several problems due to injury and was sidelined for the majority of the season.
He has played very good football since returning in February. However, he has only won the Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain this season. This is unlikely to give him a big boost in the race for the Ballon d’Or this year especially because there have been so many great artists 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 key role in helping Portugal qualify for the 2022 World Cup. Unfortunately for him, he experienced a completely forgotten season at Manchester United. The Red Devils have never looked worse in the Premier League era, and even champions Ronaldo can only do so much for them.
The 37-year-old is still going strong and is the third highest scorer in the Premier League this season, with 18 goals in 30 games. In total, he scored 24 goals and provided three assists in 39 matches across all competitions for the Red Devils.
However, the complete absence of titles would come as a huge blow to his Ballon d’Or ambitions. Ronaldo has little or no chance of winning the prestigious award this season.
#1 Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi has had a very strange season with Paris Saint-Germain since joining the club last summer. He’s been one of the most prolific scorers 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 average season by his lofty standards. He has scored just nine goals and provided 13 assists in 32 appearances across all competitions so far this season. On 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 has no chance of winning the award again this year.