Lionel Messi will not be winning the Ballon d’Or for a record-extending eighth time in 2022.
After a fairly mediocre debut season at Paris Saint-Germain, the little genius was not one of the 30 official nominees for the latest edition of the award.
It’s the first time since 2005 that Messi is not in the running to scoop the individual accolade, which further highlights his insane consistency at the very highest level.
The 35-year-old won the Ballon d’Or for a seventh time last year after he guided Argentina to Copa America glory.
If the Polish striker had won, no one could have complained. He scored goals for fun at Bayern Munich and should have been awarded the Ballon d’Or in 2020, when it was controversially put on hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
That was something Messi was keen to stress in his speech to the world after he was officially crowned the winner in Paris – and it really was a touch of class from him.
Video: Messi’s comments about Lewandowski after winning 2021 Ballon d’Or
Messi said back in November: “I would like to mention Robert Lewandowski, it’s been a real honour to compete with you.
“Everyone knows and we agree that you were the winner last year.
“I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or – you deserve it and you should have it at home.
Well said, Leo.
Lewandowski’s response to Messi
A few weeks after Messi collected the Ballon d’Or trophy, Lewandowski responded by saying he was touched by the speech from his rival at the ceremony.
“Messi’s words towards me [about the Ballon d’Or] really touched me,” Lewandowski told Bild. “They weren’t empty words, it was a nice moment in my career.
“I only spoke a few words with Leo [face to face], because my Spanish is not that good. I spoke with Kylian [Mbappe] in English, he then translated for Leo. It was a great night.”
On a bid to win the award in the future, Lewandowski added: “It’s about little details. Everything has to be in place. What I can guarantee is that I’ll continue doing my job and bring my best performances.”
Lewandowski is deservedly one of the 30 nominees for the 2022 Ballon d’Or and he’s certainly in with a chance of victory after yet another incredible season in 2021/22.
He bagged 48 goals in just 40 games, winning the Bundesliga title for the tenth time in the process.