Three Lionesses on Ballon d’Or shortlist but record winner Lionel Messi snubbed

·2 min read

European Championship winners Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze and Beth Mead are among the nominees for the Ballon d’Or Feminin.

Mead was the top scorer and named player of the tournament as England triumphed on home soil last month.

Chelsea’s Sam Kerr and Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal also make the shortlist, along with Barcelona star Alexia Putellas, while the headline from the men’s nominations was the absence of seven-time winner Lionel Messi.

Messi won the prize in 2021 and 2019 – it was not held in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic – but, following his move to Paris St Germain, the Argentinian has been omitted.

Messi’s long-time rival for the Ballon d’Or, Cristiano Ronaldo, is included as the only Manchester United nominee while English trio Trent Alexander-Arnold, Phil Foden and Harry Kane also make the 30-strong line-up.

Foden is one of six Manchester City players on the list including new signing Erling Haaland while Liverpool quintet Mohamed Salah, Luiz Diaz, Fabinho, Virgil van Dijk and Darwin Nunez – as well as the recently departed Sadio Mane – are also included.

Son Heung-min joins his strike partner Harry Kane while the favourite to win for the first time is Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

Lionel Messi has been omitted from the Ballon d'Or shortlist
Lionel Messi has been omitted from the Ballon d’Or shortlist (Ariel Schalit/AP)

Champions League winners Real are well represented, with Thibaut Courtois, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Vinicius Junior and recent recruit from Chelsea Antonio Rudiger also included.

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and fellow England international Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund are among the nominees for the Kopa Trophy for the best players aged 21 and under.

The Premier League is well represented in the shortlist for the Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper, meanwhile, with Man City’s Ederson, Alisson Becker of Liverpool, Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy and Hugo Lloris of Tottenham joining Courtois on the 10-man shortlist.