7-time winner Messi misses out on Ballon d'Or nomination

Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - on May 6, 2018 Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their second goal.
PHOTO: Reuters

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema is among the 30 nominees on the shortlist for the prestigious men's Ballon d'Or trophy, organisers France Football magazine announced on Friday (Aug 12).

The French international has had an incredible season for Real Madrid, scoring 44 goals in 46 games and helping them win the Champions League and LaLiga.

Seven times reigning winner Lionel Messi was not nominated for this year's Ballon d'Or for the first time since 2005 and nor was his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Neymar.

Other nominees are Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester City striker Erling Haaland - who has just joined the club from Borussia Dortmund - and last season's joint Premier League top scorer Mohamed Salah of Liverpool.

Among the 20 players on the shortlist for the women's Ballon d'Or is Lyon's Ada Hegerberg, who won the inaugural award in 2018, and Barcelona's Alexia Putellas.

Arsenal striker Beth Mead, who won the European Championship with hosts England last month and was named the Player of the tournament, is also nominated.

The honour for the best player in the world will be presented on Oct 17. The trophy will now be awarded based on a regular season from August to July rather than a calendar year.

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