Soon two of football’s best players will hoist one of the sport’s most prized trophies: the Ballon d’Or.
Awarded by France Football, the Ballon d’Or honors the players that had the most successful campaign in the most recent season before the upcoming calendar year gets underway.
Lionel Messi won the award in 2019 and 2021 (2020 was canceled due to COVID-19), but the Paris Saint-Germain star did not make the 30-man cut this year.
Here are the 30 men and 20 women who were nominated for the 2022 Ballon d’Or:
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Who are the 2022 Ballon d’Or nominees?
Without Messi, and other big names like Neymar Jr. in the fold, these are the 30 men who have a shot at winning the award:
Karim Benzema, Real Madrid
Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and more
Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United
Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City
Kylian Mbappé, Paris Saint-Germain
Erling Haaland, Manchester City (played with Borussia Dortmund last season)
Robert Lewandowski, FC Barcelona (played with Bayern Munich last season)
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool
Sadio Mané, Bayern Munich (played for Liverpool last season)
Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool
Luka Modrić, Real Madrid
Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid
Casemiro, Real Madrid
Joshua Kimmich, Bayern Munich
Harry Kane, Tottenham
Vinicius Jr., Real Madrid
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool
João Cancelo, Manchester City
Phil Foden, Manchester City
Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City
Antonio Rüdiger, Real Madrid (played for Chelsea last season)
Luis Díaz, Liverpool
Mike Maignan, AC Milan
Sébastien Haller, Borussia Dortmund (played for AFC Ajax last season)
Rafael Leão, AC Milan
Darwin Núñez, Liverpool (played for S.L. Benfica last season)
Christopher Nkunku, RB Leipzig
Bernardo Silva, Manchester City
Son Heung-min, Tottenham
Dušan Vlahović, Juventus
Who are the 2022 Ballon d’Or Féminin nominees?
FC Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas won the third-ever Ballon d’Or Féminin award last year, and she’s on the 20-woman shortlist this year. Ada Hegerberg, winner of the first ever Féminin award in 2018, also made the cut. Here’s the full list:
Alexia Putellas, FC Barcelona
Ada Hegerberg, Lyon
Selma Bacha, Lyon
Beth Mead, Arsenal
Alex Morgan, San Diego Wave (played for Orlando Pride last season)
Lena Oberdorf, VfL Wolfsburg
Alexandra Popp, VfL Wolfsburg
Asisat Oshoala, FC Barcelona
Wendie Renard, Lyon
Trinity Rodman, Washington Spirit
Lucy Bronze, FC Barcelona (played for Manchester City last season)
Millie Bright, Chelsea
Aitana Bonmatí, FC Barcelona
Kadidiatou Diani, Paris Saint-Germain
Fridolina Rolfö, FC Barcelona
Vivianne Miedema, Arsenal
Sam Kerr, Chelsea
Catarina Macario, Lyon
Christiane Endler, Lyon
Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Paris Saint-Germain
Who has won the most Ballon d’Or awards?
Messi holds the top spot with seven wins. Ronaldo has the most nominations with 18, and he’s won it five times.
Who has won the most Ballon d’Or Féminin awards?
The Féminin category began in 2018 and has had a new winner every year, not counting the cancellation in 2020. Here are the previous winners:
2018: Ada Hegerberg
2019: Megan Rapinoe
2021: Alexia Putellas