France Football, the organizers of the prestigious Ballon d’Or Awards, have talked about why world-famous football star, Lionel Messi was not included in this year’s shortlist.
The 35-year-old, who is the current holder of the prize, was left out of a 30-man shortlist.
Messi struggled during his first season at Paris Saint-Germain, despite the Ligue 1 club winning the title.
He scored just 11 goals for PSG, his worst return since the 2005/2006 campaign.
Emmanuel Bojan, a journalist for France Football, was responsible for answering questions on their website about the nominees.
Speaking on Messi’s snub, Bojan said: “Inevitably, Lionel Messi, with his 15 appearances in a row since 2006, his seven Ballon d’Or victories, his title holder status, weighs very heavily when it comes to the final choice,” Bojan explained when asked about the seven-time winner’s snub.
“The Argentinian was part of the discussions to integrate the 30, but the new criteria for the Ballon d’Or were unfavorable to him: disappearance of the criterion of a player’s entire career, and new periodicity, modeled on a season of football and no longer over a calendar year, which does not make it possible to integrate the Copa America of July 11, 2021.
“And then, it must be admitted that his first season in Paris was very disappointing both in terms of the visual impression and the statistics.”